Alabama senior centers given the clear to open

Following Governor Kay Ivey’s recent Safer Apart order on April 7, 2021, the Alabama Department of Senior Services announced on Monday Alabama senior centers may resume indoor activities starting April 19. 

However, the decision to allow activities at the senior center was left to be made by each municipality's senior center manager. For example, a municipality may not have the resources, staffing or may otherwise be unprepared to reopen for activities. 

Moreover, the Department of Senior Services has issued various guidelines for indoor activities in accordance with Gov. Ivey’s State Health Order. 

DeKalb County Transportation and Council on Aging Director Emily McCamy said they received 42 pages of guidelines on Monday for review before reopening. 

“We are reviewing them [Thursday] and will speak with the Top of Alabama Regional Council of Governments (TARCOG) to discuss,” she said. 

McCamy said information on the reopening of DeKalb County's senior centers would be provided as soon as an update is available. 

In a statement earlier this week, Department of Senior Services Commissioner Jean Brown said,” Our senior citizens have looked forward to the time when we could regather at these nurturing senior centers.” 

Per the ADSS Senior Center Reopening Guidelines, additional time will allow for the center to plan and prepare for the extra safety protocols that will be implemented and to train staff, volunteers and participants on these guidelines. 

Senior center managers are encouraged to take reasonable steps, where practicable to protect participants. The list of guidelines can be found on the ADSS website at alabamaageline.gov

For many communities, senior centers are a visible focal point within their communities which offer a variety of services and programs for older individuals in the five main aspects of personal health which include health, social, educational, recreational and nutrition categories. 

For regular updates follow DeKalb County Transportation and Council on Aging on Facebook @DeKalbCoA. You may also contact your local area agency on aging through the Alabama Age Line at 1-877-425-2243.

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