Welcome Back Seniors!Sep 28, 2020 10:10AM ● By Bella Caggiano
The Norwood Senior’s exceptional reputation is well known within Norwood and the surrounding towns. When the pandemic hit, and municipal and communal locations were forced to close their doors, it was a severe detriment to those who relied on those services, not only financially, but for health and social benefits.
While the Norwood Senior center was closed during this time for visitors, the staff was still hard at work assisting the senior population. With the ease of indoor restrictions, the Center is now open for limited programming and is a welcome respite to its clientele its current limited recreational options.
According to Executive Director Kerri McCarthy, the Center has begun to introduce programs into its scheduling, but with many policies in place to ensure the safety of all those who enter the building. Outdoor tables were also put into place for residents to congregate during the warm weather.
“For the first few months people definitely wanted to stay home,” McCarthy said. “By May, they were ready to come back out again. If people are not comfortable coming in, however, we are continuing virtual stuff. Overall, people feel safe coming here.”
Here are just a few of the services the Norwood Senior Center is reinstating this fall: blood pressure clinics, SHINE appointments, and a few exercise programs. The Grab and Go Lunch is being served (indoors and outdoors) on Tuesdays and Thursdays, (orders must be in by 11 a.m,). Lunches are being served at the Center, Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. The bus is available for transport 8 a.m.-4 p.m., with a limited number of riders at one time. Exercise programs have begun with limited capacity, with restricted distancing within a 14 foot square. The fitness and computer labs are also open by appointment. Last month, the handcrafters also started meeting again to share their love of knitting.
Although the Center was closed for programming during the spring and summer, McCarthy and her staff remained hard at work servicing the ‘at risk’ Norwood community every day. They delivered lunches and masks, assisted with unemployment processes and food stamp applications, personally delivered 126 pansies on people’s doorsteps, and the bus continued on the streets of Norwood bring passengers to appointments.
“People were calling, and we thought, what can we do,” McCarthy said. “We were doing shopping a couple times per time day. That’s what we are here for.”
Norwood businesses also joined in to assist the Center to service local neighbors. For instance, Ernie Boch had a team of volunteers give out 100, $100 gift cards, for homebound seniors and Dempsey Insurance donated 60-70 steamed lobsters, wrapped and ready to go.
The Norwood Senior Center is located at 275 Prospect St., and is open 8 a.m.-4 p.m. for limiting programming. Visitors are encouraged to call the Center before arriving for services or programs at 781-762-1201.
COVID-19 Procedures for the Norwood Senior Center
As we continue to open our doors , it is with great caution and guidance.
• Mask should be worn while indoors, we have plenty if you need one
• Social Distance while walking around the center
• All socializing needs to be done outdoors at this time
• The Café will remain closed, we will provide coffee outdoors when weather allows
• No card games in doors at this time
• No Bingo, line dance or dances allowed at this time :(
• Pre−register for all classes and outdoor programs
• Exercise classes will resume very slowly (see schedule) Max participants 12
• There will be 14 foot spaces marked for individuals to exercise
• The fitness room will be available for one person at a time−please sign up
• The computers will be available for use− 2 people at a time
• Stylus key chains will be provided to use for the My Senior Center Kiosk
• Please call and make an appointment with Trish, walk−ins are not allowed
• Bathrooms will be cleaned and sanitized daily
• Extra hand sanitizers have been placed around the center for your use
• If you do not feel well, please stay home and take care of yourself
• At any time, the center could close again so please keep in touch
I know this seems cold and uninviting but believe me it is for your safety. We have worked closely with the Department of Public Health to go over what we can and cannot do. I believe if we practice all the suggested guidelines (wear a mask, social distance, wash your hands and stay home when sick) it will be safe to open our doors. We will do this very slowly and hope that we will be able to move forward at some point. In the meantime, we can enjoy seeing each other outdoors. I hope you like the new outdoor seating area and use it as often as you can.