Area senior facilities reopening beneath a brand new title | Winchester Star

Area senior facilities are reopening this spring, and as they welcome present members, they’re doing so beneath a brand new title.

The Shenandoah Area Agency on Aging, which operates senior facilities in Winchester and Clarke, Frederick, Page, Shenandoah and Warren counties, has launched its new nickname: Seniors First.

The nickname makes it somewhat simpler for individuals to determine what they do, stated Allison Mondell, improvement supervisor for the group.

In addition to working senior facilities, the company additionally supplies home-based meals, provides insurance coverage counseling and transportation for medical rides, supplies training, operates a caregiver respite heart, and employs advocates for individuals dwelling in long-term care amenities.

Often, Mondell stated, individuals didn’t know what the group’s official title meant.

“We’re trying to communicate our mission a little bit better with the community,” she stated. “If people hear that name, it’s still us.”

Since shuttering their doorways for 2 years throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, 5 of the group’s six senior facilities have reopened and are welcoming present members whereas signing up new members to affix within the subsequent few weeks.

“We have had a lot of our existing clients return and we’ve had some new faces as well,” Mondell stated.

Reopening has been bittersweet, although, since they’ve had fairly a couple of members move away within the final two years.

“It has been hard in some ways,” she stated.

Many members stayed dwelling for your entire two years. They’re excited to assemble once more however unhappy that lots of their mates aren’t there anymore.

For probably the most half, it’s been “really great,” Mondell stated, and for now, the senior facilities are seeing “more like soft openings.”

The Shenandoah County Senior Center, positioned at First Baptist Church at 116 Lakeview Drive, reopened on March 29.

“They’re just happy,” stated Manager Joe Babcock. “They’ve been talking all week and they haven’t stopped talking.”

Easing again into their schedule of applications, the workers and volunteers have gone onerous on the dominoes and Bingo video games, that are a perennial hit.

They’re hoping to signal on presenters to supply musical applications and different enjoyable actions. They’re additionally trying ahead to taking excursions later within the 12 months to space orchards, the Route 11 Potato Chips manufacturing unit in Mount Jackson and a neighborhood preschool.

“We’re working on trying to get a raised garden bed for them, right here at the church,” Babcock stated.

In Warren County, the senior heart at 1217 Commonwealth Ave., Front Royal, opened on March 5 to present purchasers and can begin accepting new purchasers on May 1.

Staff needed to make it possible for their purchasers, who had additionally spent the vast majority of the final two years cordoned off from the general public, had the prospect to construct up their immunity earlier than extra members begin popping out for applications, stated Senior Center Manager Misty Alger.

Some current hits for them have been a twist on the sport of cornhole (with three holes as a substitute of 1) and an armchair journey tour to China the place they loved Chinese meals ready by the senior heart workers.

This week they have been planning a program by the Warren County Sheriff’s Office, and not too long ago in addition they embellished a Christmas tree for Easter.

“I try to involve them and get their memories going,” Alger stated.

Encouraging purchasers to usher in footage from dwelling of previous holidays, “brings up happy memories for them,” she stated.

The Winchester Senior Center, which reopened March 21 within the Active Living Center at Jim Barnett Barnett Park at 1001 E. Cork St.,  not too long ago had a police detective talk about avoiding scams, and Shenandoah University college students visited their pen friends on the senior heart and took part in icebreaker questions. The heart’s hours are 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday to Thursday.

“That was really neat,” Mondell stated.

All six of the senior facilities are looking for volunteers to assist with programming, and a few are additionally hiring for employees positions.

The Frederick County Senior Center at United Methodist Church, 5291 Main St., Stephens City, stays closed, Mondell stated, due to the necessity for a cook dinner, but it surely’s nonetheless providing home-based meals.

Warren County is hiring for a cook dinner’s assistant in addition to an ombudsman to advocate for individuals dwelling in long-term care amenities.

Clarke County’s senior heart reopened March 29 on the Clarke County Parks and Recreation Department. Its hours are 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesday to Friday.  A grand reopening is scheduled for 11 a.m. April 28. RSVP by April 26 at 540-955-3572.

“It’s been very exciting,” Mondell stated. “We’ve been hoping for this for a long time. It’s a really great feeling.”

Everyone has been “smiling and giving each other hugs,” she stated. “That’s really what we’re all about.”

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