By Terry Duffy
The Town of Lewiston Senior Center continues its reopening process – albeit with reduced offerings – following a months-long hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The center is reopening and we are so happy to welcome everyone back,” said Melinda Olick, center director. “Unfortunately, some activities will not meet the guidelines we are required to follow during the COVID pandemic. We are trying to bring things back in a healthy and safe manner.”
Olick said the center is now adhering to the following COVID protocols:
•Attendees are required to answer a COVID-19 questionnaire and have their temperatures taken prior to entry;
•Attendees must wear face masks and 6-foot social distancing is required at all times;
•Attendees may remove their face masks while at lunch; and
•Attendees must avoid unnecessary contact with all surfaces, and the center will continue to operate at a reduced capacity.
Olick said the center is now open from 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Friday and maintains an open door policy for “a pleasant and healthy environment” for area seniors. “The caring staff is dedicated to the well being of those who participate in the many programs and services offered,” she said.
Olick added however that a number of popular activities simply are not yet available in this era of COVID. These include card playing and group functions such as Senior Centers Larks singers, which both remain in hiatus.
“The bad news is The Larks will not be opening until 2021,” Olick said.
She explained that the practice of signing has the potential to propel potentially dangerous (COVID) droplets further through the air than by speaking. “We will take a break and come back when it is safe to do so.”
But a number of center activities are up and running, such as its popular bingo games, which are now being held at 1 p.m. each Wednesday. Other activities returned for October include yoga, from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. on Mondays; visits from the Niagara County Office for the Aging attorney, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesdays; a Music Sight reading class, 9:30-10:30 a.m. Wednesdays; wood carvers and quilters at 9 a.m. Thursdays; and tai chi at 9:30 a.m. on Fridays.
Other activities for the month of October include a visit from Lewiston’s fire responders at 11 a.m., Tuesday, Oct. 6; flu shots by Rite Aid Pharmacy from 10 a.m.-noon Tuesday, Oct. 13; the Lewiston Senior Club at 1 p.m. and the Afternoon Book Club, both on Tuesday, Oct. 20; lunchtime Music with Mike at noon, Friday, Oct. 23; and the center’s annual Halloween Party, beginning with a Halloween lunch and continuing Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 27.
Also back in operation is the Town of Lewiston Senior Center care van, which operates from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. The van service is open to all seniors age 60 and older residing within the geographic boundaries of the Town of Lewiston. It provides transportation for medical needs on a priority basis; as well as shopping, banking, hairdresser and barbershop visits in the Village of Lewiston.
Wheelchair services are not provided and donations are welcome.
For more information on the activities and services, contact the senior center at 716-754-2071.