Senior Center to remain closed through summer

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From The Desk Of The Director

It is with deep regret that I need to inform you that the Senior Center will not re-open until most likely after Labor Day. I am currently serving on a 15-member State Re-Opening of Senior Centers Task Force and am working closely with State government agencies under Gov. Baker’s guidance. I know how difficult it is to be away from the Senior Center but we must continue to use extreme caution for the protection, safety and well- being of our senior population. The Task Force is working on establishing best practices to resume programs and services with minimal risk to your health. Training will be required for all Senior Center staff, volunteers and participants coming in to the building for whatever reason. It is going to take time to get it done correctly and ensure that our vulnerable senior population returns for programs with as limited exposure as we can possibly provide.

We will have to follow town procedures for cleaning and sanitizing, social distancing and other procedures that will be put in place. Returning for programs will not be like it was on Friday, March 13, when we closed our doors due to COVID-19. There will be some programs that we will not be able to offer until there is a vaccine available. Although the Senior Center is closed, the Council on Aging is open and staff is working hard to provide essential services. North Attleborough residents continue to receive Meals on Wheels and some are participating in our Grab & Go lunch program. The staff is making Wellness Calls; phone consultations are available for health insurance counseling (SHINE) and our office has continued to remain open since March 17 to take your calls and address your concerns.

We are working on developing some virtual programs through Zoom and we are anxious to see one another and reconnect. Zoom is a video chatting service allowing users to chat one-on-one or in groups. You can participate in programs by using the camera on your smart phone, tablet or computer to participate with live video so you can see each other. We will set up Zoom Events so you can “meet” with groups you’re familiar with based on your participation at the Senior Center. It is a great way to connect, see smiling faces, “meet” and catch up with one another in a safe manner.

If you have ideas for programs you are interested in you can call us. If you are interested in virtual programs being offered in the near future, please call us at 508-699-0131 or email lburgess@nattleboro.com to provide us with your email address so we can register you and provide you with your Zoom invitation. We are also working with North TV and our exercise instructors to bring some classes’ right to you soon. Join our email list so you can receive emails when new opportunities and/or programs come up in between newsletters being sent out.

I regret to inform those who participated in the Senior Tax Work Off Program, that this year due to restrictions from COVID-19 we will be unable to offer this program. The program usually runs from July-October and the Senior Center is still closed to the public. Many of the town offices are restricted to limited amounts of people in one office due to COVID-19 concerns so it would be difficult to find job placements for all 30 participants. Hopefully, this very popular program will be able to return in July 2021.

All of us miss seeing all of you; it is lonely without you here. We miss the laughter, lively chatter and seeing so many friendships that have developed over the years. I sincerely hope this virus ends soon or a vaccine is developed so we can return to having all of you here as often as before if not more often.

Wishing you all happy and sunny summer days and stay healthy and safe,

Pam Hunt, COA Director