Date: June 3, 2021 | Category: News
Wheatland’s McCarty Senior Center has resumed indoor recreational and fitness opportunities and dining after more than a year of closure because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
After a “soft opening” to work out glitches, the center is operating at reduced capacity, but welcoming adults 60 and older to dine indoors without masks, according to Donnita Stanley, Coordinator of the center at 19482 U.S. Highway 54. It’s open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Folks who need transportation to the center may call OATS 1-800-276-6287 to arrange a ride. The center reopened for limited dining on May 17 and expanded capacity to 80 people.
“It’s going well,” Stanley said. “More people are excited about coming in. The word is just now getting out, and I am just happy that we are open again. It’s starting to feel a little more normal to us.”
She said she believes older adults welcome the reopening.
“People know how important the senior center is to our community,” said Stanley, who estimated about 20 people are dining in the center on weekdays. “I am just so excited to see people back in here. You feel like there is more of a pulse in the building. It is coming to life. So many people are thankful. We hope to get more new people here.”
For now, the center still offers curbside pickup of meals for those who are not ready to dine in. Stanley said people may call the center at 417-282-6100 from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and pick up a meal by 11:30 a.m.
Center guests will notice fewer tables than before, as well as a request for social distancing when they are in line for their meals. While the mandatory use of masks and temperature taking have been halted, visitors, staff and volunteers still will be requested to answer health questions about COVID-19 exposure or symptoms.
All the usual activities will be allowed, including bingo from 11 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and indoor walking at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Monday through Friday. Pool will be allowed for players who use their own cue sticks and clean the rack and balls between sets. To reserve a space for card playing, contact Stanley.
Care Manager Melanie Foster will be at the center from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursdays and available by appointment. Foster can connect older adults with benefits and answer a variety of questions on topics ranging from Medicare and property tax rebates to housing and family caregiving.
The center will update the website (goaging.org) and Facebook pages as it adds activities. The center has space available for those who want to participate in “Care Connect! Online” activities on the big screen TV. The McCarty Center also offers a space for telehealth appointments.
Staff and volunteers will be required to wear masks while clients are in the building. Home-delivered meal drivers will be required to wear masks, sanitize hands between clients, and stay socially distanced during the delivery of meals.