Crawford Center still taking care of its seniors despite restrictions

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Senior Center employee Amy Ainsworth places food into a waiting vehicle, while Macon county employee Coleman Buchanan holds the door for her. Photo by Vickie Carpenter

Diane Peltz – Contributing Writer

Senior center workers wait to load vehicles with meals for pickup or to be delivered to seniors in the community. Photo by Diane Peltz

The Crawford Senior Center building may be closed to visitors and participants due to the pandemic, but many activities are still going on, albeit, through various mediums.  The majority of the staff is still working but many of the volunteers are not presently volunteering, due to safety concerns. 

“We are packaging and distributing meals through our home delivered meal program and congregate drive-through meals,” explains Senior Center director Jennifer Hollifield.  “The community resource center is still assisting the community with phoned in needs. The Adult Day Program is in daily phone contact with all their participants.  SHIIP (senior health insurance program) staff is still answering phone call questions.  Some exercise classes, such as yoga and Tai Chi, are being recorded and put on our Facebook page.” 

The Crawford Senior Center Facebook page is experiencing an increased amount of followers posting a variety of things such as activities, videos and photos for their participants. 

The center is serving hot meals on weekdays including drive-through and home delivery. They are serving around 150 hot and nutritionally balanced lunches each day, to seniors.  Staff is also calling participants daily to check up on them. 

“We all miss getting to spend time with our participants,” said Hollifield.

If a senior is in need of a hot meal, all they have to do is call the center at (828)349-2058 to register for free daily meals. The drive through congregate meals are being distributed at the Senior Center at 108 Wayah St. daily from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. 

Troy Palmer is a senior citizen and center participant who is on the advisory committee. Palmer moved to Franklin about four years ago. He recalls how many seniors partake in the lunches at the center on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays when they also play bingo. Small prizes are given out to winners, such as mugs or other homemade gifts which are donated by participants. 

“The meals are by far very good,”says Palmer. 

Most of all the participants enjoy the socialization they get from being at the center. 

“I’m lucky enough to be able to drive and I have my dog to keep me company. Many seniors don’t drive and they have no family close by, so they are missing the social aspect that the center usually offers.” 

He says he has spoken to about half-dozen of the participants and they are basically doing okay. 

Under the circumstances the Senior Center is doing everything they can to stay in touch with the members and to help them remain active through Facebook videos such as tai chi and yoga. One challenge for seniors is the use of technology. Not all seniors are able to log onto Facebook and some don’t have smart phones, but the daily phone calls are still very much appreciated by the folks who can’t participate digitally.Diane Peltz – Contributing Writer

The Crawford Senior Center building may be closed to visitors and participants due to the pandemic, but many activities are still going on, albeit, through various mediums.  The majority of the staff is still working but many of the volunteers are not presently volunteering, due to safety concerns. 

“We are packaging and distributing meals through our home delivered meal program and congregate drive-through meals,” explains Senior Center director Jennifer Hollifield.  “The community resource center is still assisting the community with phoned in needs. The Adult Day Program is in daily phone contact with all their participants.  SHIIP (senior health insurance program) staff is still answering phone call questions.  Some exercise classes, such as yoga and Tai Chi, are being recorded and put on our Facebook page.” 

The Crawford Senior Center Facebook page is experiencing an increased amount of followers posting a variety of things such as activities, videos and photos for their participants. 

The center is serving hot meals on weekdays including drive-through and home delivery. They are serving around 150 hot and nutritionally balanced lunches each day, to seniors.  Staff is also calling participants daily to check up on them. 

“We all miss getting to spend time with our participants,” said Hollifield.

If a senior is in need of a hot meal, all they have to do is call the center at (828)349-2058 to register for free daily meals. The drive through congregate meals are being distributed at the Senior Center at 108 Wayah St. daily from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. 

Troy Palmer is a senior citizen and center participant who is on the advisory committee. Palmer moved to Franklin about four years ago. He recalls how many seniors partake in the lunches at the center on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays when they also play bingo. Small prizes are given out to winners, such as mugs or other homemade gifts which are donated by participants. 

“The meals are by far very good,”says Palmer. 

Most of all the participants enjoy the socialization they get from being at the center. 

“I’m lucky enough to be able to drive and I have my dog to keep me company. Many seniors don’t drive and they have no family close by, so they are missing the social aspect that the center usually offers.” 

He says he has spoken to about half-dozen of the participants and they are basically doing okay. 

Under the circumstances the Senior Center is doing everything they can to stay in touch with the members and to help them remain active through Facebook videos such as tai chi and yoga. One challenge for seniors is the use of technology. Not all seniors are able to log onto Facebook and some don’t have smart phones, but the daily phone calls are still very much appreciated by the folks who can’t participate digitally.

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