Several counties have submitted reopening plans for local senior centers to the Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency.
Area Agency on Aging and Disability (AAAD) Director Holly Williams said the agency is reviewing the plans and providing recommendations on how to open safely.
“Being able to reopen the centers when they can at a safe time is very important,” Williams said. “Because, the longer it goes the more of a negative impact it is going to have on their health.”
Williams said all recommendations are based off the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability with focuses on limited capacities and activities. Each county or center board make the final decision if a senior center will reopen.
“We share with them preferred methods of reopening, however those are not requirements that we provide them passed on from the state agency,” Williams said. “Those are just recommendations.”
Currently, only one center in the 14 counties the agency covers is open. AAAD Assistant Director Kelly Clarkson said the remaining centers are concerned about rising COVID numbers.
“They are just waiting and talking to their county officials or health department,” Clarkson said. “And getting updated information on whether they want to stick to their reopening date or push that back.”
Williams said closed centers main priorities right now are engaging with seniors with off site activities such as parking lot bingo and calling lists. UCHRA also has free telephone counseling for any person over 70 years old through the CARES Act.