What a year! At the start of 2021, we were at the peak of a winter surge of COVID, forcing many older adults to remain home and isolated. Between mobility challenges, loneliness, and a greater risk of becoming seriously ill, they found themselves struggling. Throughout the pandemic, Senior Services adapted to find ways to step up and provide for those in need.
Care Coordinators made special efforts to call clients and check on their well-being. For those in need of meals, Senior Services brought healthy, delicious meals right to their door in a contactless manner by friendly, compassionate volunteers. As the pandemic continued to create significant challenges for the people we serve, we reinvented ways to offer our services and reach those who were increasingly vulnerable and isolated. Staff members across the agency made weekly calls to clients to check on them, to offer a listening ear and meet their needs. Our Education & Outreach team offered fitness, support groups, educational programming, and enrichment online to seniors looking to stay connected. We continued to transport clients needing life-saving doctors’ appointments and dialysis during quarantine with the help of our incredible transportation volunteers.
Yet, there were signs of hope with the rollout of vaccines. In January Senior Services began hosting numerous COVID-19 vaccine clinics in collaboration with the Midland County Department of Public Health (MCDPH). In partnership with organizations in the community, we vaccinated thousands. Midland County can be proud to say that over 90% of adults aged 65+ have received vaccinations against COVID-19. We attribute much of the success to the local volunteers and staff at both agencies.
This high vaccination rate among the people we serve allowed Senior Services to gradually and safely resume all services, classes and supports over the course of the spring and summer of 2021. Seasons Adult Day Health Services, a therapeutic enrichment program for those living with chronic illness or dementia, welcomed back clients in need and now is back to normal capacity. Care Coordinators resumed home visits, and our five Activity and Dining Centers reopened to local older adults across the county with nutritious meals, engaging activities, interesting classes and most importantly, social engagement.
The past two years have been challenging for the agency, and we have learned a great deal. As we look ahead into 2022, we will continue to adapt to the changes in how we offer our services with a goal to support seniors in their pursuit of happiness, connection and safety. If you or someone you know could benefit from the services provided by Senior Services, call 989-633-3700 or visit www.SeniorServicesMidland.org.
by Ashley David, Communications & Design Manager
and Trena Winans, Director of Education & Outreach