Senior edition

By Holly Steele - Preble County Council on Aging

Senior Centers: Delivering Vital Connections!

September is National Senior Center Month in the U.S! Every year since 1979, the National Council on Aging has celebrated Senior Center Week.

In 1985, President Ronald Reagan signed the first Senior Center Week Presidential Proclamation, and in 2007 the week-long celebration was extended to the full month of September to give centers greater flexibility in scheduling celebratory events.

The first senior center was opened in 1948 in New York City, and here we are in Sept. 2020 discussing how and when we are going to re-open. Let’s first talk about our theme of Delivering Vital Connections.

This year’s theme was chosen to highlight how senior centers Deliver Vital Connections to support older adults aging well. Preventing social isolation is vital and a core senior center mission. While the delivery methods have changed during the pandemic, centers have succeeded in continuing to provide knowledge, programming, and resources.

Our key words this celebration month are Mind, Body, Spirit, and Community. They are important reminders to take a holistic approach. Holistic, meaning that we are wanting to address the whole person, taking into account the mental and social factors, rather than just the physical symptoms of disease.

Mind: We have stimulating questions on our Facebook page every day. We offer puzzles to our home bound seniors. We can help connect you with mental health support if and when you may need it.

Body: We are offering zoom classes to help keep your body engaged and moving. We also share videos on our Facebook page of exercises for seniors.

Spirit: It feeds our spirit, and hopefully yours too, to see you at our Thursday Drive Thru each week.

Community: We continue to feed our seniors by offering Meals on Wheels and Staying Healthy Breakfasts. We have daily specials to the community at large.

Speaking of Delivering Vital Connections, as you know Gov. DeWine has lifted the Executive Order for Senior Centers to reopen. We have been diligently prepping for our re-opening. We are happy that the order has been lifted, and since Preble County is still in the red, we are opening cautiously. We will be opening in phases, as you can see below.

Phase 1: September

  • Stay Home/ Stay Safe Order
  • Essential services continue to be provided
  • Innovative services in response to the pandemic

Phase 2: Oct. 1

  • Continue essential services and conduct remotely when possible.
  • Advise/Educate against anyone with underlying health conditions from leaving their home, unless absolutely necessary.
  • Limited activities during limited hours (Mondays-Fridays, 1-4 p.m.)
  • Require face coverings unless there is a health or safety reason why it should not be worn.
  • Provide a blend of virtual and in person classes.
  • Senior activities will be closed during and two weeks following being designated as a red county (Level 3 on the Ohio Public Health Advisroy System).

“These guidelines on reopening senior centers could change at any time,” Senior Center Manager Stacey Fullmer said. “As this is our plan, things could change as they change guidelines for us. Please continue to be patient as we reopen as safe as we can and in the best possible way. We do miss seeing everyone and honestly, cannot wait to reopen.”

We are blessed to be a vital center of connection in this community, and we are excited to re-open soon. Until that day comes, continue to stay connected with us via our online activities, our Drive Thru Thursdays, picking up your breakfast or lunch, or simply giving us a call and letting us give you a hand with what your holistic needs.

To stay up to date on all of our activities, trips and senior news sign up to receive our bi-monthly newsletter the “Senior Scene.” Membership at the Senior Center is $10 a year. In addition to other benefits, members automatically receive our bi-monthly “Senior Scene” newsletter which features all our latest news and activities, additional benefits are discounts on trips and select activities.

Like our Facebook Page at or give us a call at 937-456-4947. Visit our website at

By Holly Steele

Preble County Council on Aging