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Older adults rejoice as senior centers reopen

Published: Jun. 28, 2021 at 4:49 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Senior centers are back open for in-person activities like yoga and arts and crafts. After the centers were closed on and off for a year due to the pandemic, seniors are excited to get back.

“As soon as we got here, we were chomping at the door,” Donna Zeo said.

“I’m a person who’s very good on her own, and I was mostly on my own, but I did miss the social contact very much,” said Ilse Raymond of Burlington.

Social isolation has been a huge issue among seniors for the past year. But now they’re reconnecting with their communities and their routines, something Jean Rook says is her favorite part about being back, besides her friends, of course.

“I used to come five days a week, five mornings a week. For mostly aerobic or yoga, or Tai Chi,” said Rook of Burlington.

Sarah Carter is the program director for the Adult Core Center in Burlington. She says the importance of these centers is to give the space and opportunity for folks to learn, and connect with one another. That’s something Martha Ahmed says she needs at her age.

“When you get older you don’t have a lot of older people that you can talk to. Even though you have to tell the story four or five times because you didn’t remember you told it before, seniors don’t mind that,” Ahmed said.

Beth Hammond, the executive director at the Heineberg Senior Center, says her favorite part about having the seniors back in the building is watching them interact.

“Seeing hugging, and smiling, being their mentally and physically,” Hammond said.

Some seniors say they tried to stay active at home during isolation, but it just wasn’t the same.

“It was a relief and we’re back,” Zeo said.

If you’re not sure if you’re quite ready to get back into the swing of things, Carter says not to worry.

“Very safe to be here,” she said.

They also offer transportation in case you need a ride.

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