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Shawnee Senior Center to reopen June 22

Amy Riggins
Contributing writer

Hello, Shawnee! I think summer is finally here, although we may be in store for some rain this weekend.  Seasons here in Oklahoma are always fun since they change so often.

This Monday, June 22, we will open the senior center, located at 401 N. Bell, at 8 a.m.  Our regular hours of Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. will be in effect. We are looking forward to seeing everyone! We hope you choose to come have some fun, despite the “new normal” we are all experiencing.

Let me recap our plan for reopening.  While the center was closed due to COVID-19, our entire facility was sanitized and disinfected.  We will continue to spray disinfectant and sanitize the center once a day before normal business hours.  Commonly touched surfaces will be disinfected multiple times during the day.  Any snacks served will be individually wrapped, and our coffee and beverages will only be available at the front desk, not in a common area.   

Social distancing of 6 feet will be encouraged, but individuals will need to monitor themselves.  Waving from a short distance will be preferred instead of any hugs or handshakes.  Masks will not be required.  If you want to wear a mask, that is fine, and you can ask others to stay 6 feet away if necessary.  Thanks to a donation from Life Church, we have several masks to give away to anyone who might want one, while supplies last.  

We will not be checking temperatures, nor will there be any screening of patrons.  If we notice anyone with symptoms, we will ask them to leave.  If you are feeling unwell, you need to stay home.

Participation in senior focused activities in our facility will be at your own risk.  This means you need to decide to do what’s best for you personally.  Since Oklahoma still has a safer-at-home recommendation for those with underlining health conditions or aged 65+, you might decide it is better for you to wait.  

We encourage you to be safe and return when you feel comfortable to do so.  We will be here, and we will definitely save a place for you!   If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at amy.riggins@shawneeok.org or 405-878-1528.  

Our calendar for the rest of June will be available next week with the July calendar soon to follow.  The Storytime Band will return to play each Tuesday and Thursday 1:00-2:30 p.m., and they will kick off their first country music session on Tuesday, June 23.  Some activity groups are beginning next week, while others have opted to wait a bit.  Check with your group leader for more information.  

As a reminder, the Community Center at 804 S. Park will remain closed to the public throughout the month of June, but they will continue to offer Project Heart meals on a take-out basis to their registered participants.  There is still no announced date for when they will return to business as usual.  For more information about Project Heart and their meal service for individuals aged 60+, call 405-275-4530.   

As I mentioned last week, one exception for the Community Center remaining closed is Angie’s morning fitness classes.  Until Project Heart resumes serving meals in person in the dining room, senior fitness classes will meet in the Community Center at the temporary time of 10:00-10:45 a.m., Monday through Thursday, beginning June 22.  Join Angie at the Community Center on Monday and Wednesday for Chair Fitness Stretching, and on Tuesday and Thursday for Chair Fitness Strength.  Again, this is the only activity at the Community Center for now.  The class time of 10:00-10:45 a.m. is only temporary until the whole center reopens, and then it will return to its normal time of 11:00-11:45 a.m.   

All other morning fitness classes will resume next week at the Senior Recreation Center.  Beginning June 22, Beth’s Enhance® Fitness class will meet Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 8:30-9:30 a.m.  Tai Chi Moving for Better Balance class taught by Cyndi will continue to meet on Tuesday and Thursday at 8:15-9:15 a.m., beginning on June 23.  These two classes are funded through the Title III Older American Act Grant from COEDD, and we are thankful for their support.  

A new afternoon class will begin June 23 on Tuesday and Thursday at 3:30-4:30 p.m.  Angie will be teaching in the afternoons at the Senior Center, offering her popular Restorative Stretching Gentle Yoga class.  The class includes gentle stretching exercises and beginning yoga poses which help with all aspects of fitness.  The exercises can be done standing up, in a chair, or on a mat.  Come try this rewarding class, as you may be surprised how effective it is!  

A new morning walking group is beginning next week, led by our first ever Volunteer Walking Group Coordinator.  If you are interested in learning more about walking groups, our senior fitness program, or how you can apply to our expanding volunteer program, please contact us at 405-878-1528 or email me at amy.riggins@shawneeok.org  There are many ways for you to get involved!  

Thanks for reading about Shawnee Senior Happenings, as our goal is to keep you informed.  You can also tune in to listen to the “Mike in the Mornings” show on KGFF, aired Wednesday mornings at 8:30 a.m. on your radio dial at 1450 AM or 100.9 FM.

We look forward to seeing you soon at one of our centers!