Last month in September, we honored National Senior Center Month. It was a bittersweet time, as senior centers in Sonoma County are closed to the public. The theme of this year’s National Senior Center Month was Senior Centers: Delivering Vital Connections. One of the major lessons this pandemic has taught our society is that senior centers are crucial to a healthy community. Without a healthy aging population, our communities would look much different.
Before March 13, 2020 our center’s halls were bustling with seniors going to yoga classes or to lunch or to a support group to connect with friends. One could hear laughter reverberating through the classrooms as new friendships were formed, or the clanking of plates as folks finished their delicious, cooked-to-order lunch. It’s strange to feel nostalgia for those times, and we are all waiting for the moment when we can hear those sounds again and feel the energy.
We could never fully replace the amount of services and classes we offered pre-pandemic, however, seniors need, now more than ever, to stay connected with their friends, continue with exercise regimens and have a healthy diet.
If you are struggling with food insecurity, or are feeling isolated or lonely, we encourage you to find out if there is a local Senior Center in your community. If you live in the greater Sebastopol Area (Lower Russian River communities, Bodega Bay, Occidental, Graton, etc.) give us a call or visit our website to get connected to support groups, free meal delivery, exercise classes, LGBTQI resources and so much more.
You are not alone in this. This is what communities are made of; people banding together (albeit from a distance) to ensure no senior is forgotten. Visit sebastopolseniorcenter.org or call 707-829-2440 for more information.