Linda and Scott Johnson are driving by the senior center to receive their bingo prize for the COVID-19 at home bingo game. Submitted photos.
By Tamas Mondovics
The coronavirus pandemic may have forced local communities to make some major adjustments, including the necessity to stay at home. Such change may especially be difficult for senior residents who have enjoyed the daily activities at the Johnson County Senior Center. But thanks to the kind and generous spirit of many volunteers, staying home does not have to be the most dreaded thing. At home resources available to members of the Johnson County Senior Center continue to be a lifeline for local seniors.
Hot lunches, newsletter, distance bingo, activity calendars, jigsaw puzzles, Bibles, books, adult coloring supplies, yarn for knitting and crocheting are just a some of the items available for pickup from 11-Noon each weekday at the drive-through at the back of the senior center. For starters, many center volunteers have “Phone Buddies” assigned to them, who are calling seniors that are home alone, shut-in, and may not have any other family or neighbor to check on them.
“This service has been great for our seniors,” Johnson County Senior Center Director Kathy Motsinger said. “The callers are enjoying the phone calls as much as the seniors, who in turn assured that there’s someone who cares for them.”
Motsinger was pleased with the numbers, as she mentioned that just the past week, 885 hot meals were served to senior citizens in Johnson County.
“That’s amazing and made possible because of wonderful volunteers,” she said. “This is the most meals served in our area from First Tennessee Human Resource Agency (FTHRA).”
Johnson County Senior Center officials emphasized that the meal service will continue until at least May 15, before it will be reassessed.
“The Johnson County Senior Center Advisory Board will then reevaluate the situation to determine a re-open date for regular classes and schedules to resume as before COVID-19,” she said.
For more information about programs and services now offered at the Johnson County Senior Center please contact the center (423) 727-8883.