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Senior Center awaits reopening

By Janet Rhea Payne
Senior Center Administrative Assistant

The Johnson County Senior Center building remains closed to the public, but the staff has continued to work hard to meet the needs of the senior adults in Johnson County during this time of COVID-19 while working toward the future when the building will be allowed to reopen to members.

Meeting the physical needs of senior adults is a priority of the senior center. Meal distribution has resumed with Meals on Wheels meals being delivered to the homebound five days a week. Hot meals provided by First Tennessee Human Resources Agency are available Monday-Friday 11-12 noon via drive-through at the back of the senior center building for a suggested $1 donation.
The Boyd Foundation sponsored restaurant meals continue to be delivered Monday-Thursday and ending September 24 (all meals are reserved at this time, and a waiting list has been started).

MyRide continues to provide rides within Johnson County for senior adults to go to the grocery store, doctor appointments, Laundromat, etc. During this time of COVID-19, grocery shopping and delivery have been offered to staff members and volunteers.
Work has been ongoing to provide necessary upgrades to the Johnson County Senior Center.

Grants have been written to help with the costs of replacing some of the exercise equipment in the exercise room and having the pool tables recovered (East Tennessee Community Foundation and United Way of Northeast Tennessee) and providing an interactive television for training and teleconferencing.

New stoves for the kitchen and a new sound system for the building have been ordered using donated money.Continuing to plan activities to engage senior members while maintaining best practices to keep everyone as safe as possible is an ongoing process.
Upcoming activities this next week in September include Suicide Prevention Day on Thursday, September 10, where educational materials will be distributed during the drive-through lunch, and there will be a First Responders Appreciation Drive Through Breakfast on Friday, September 11, 8:30-9:30 for all members of the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department, Mountain City Police Department, Johnson County EMS, and the members of all Fire Departments in Johnson County.

Outreach to check in on members at home continues regularly with phone calls being made by staff and volunteers. If you or a family member wants to receive phone calls or would like to assist with phone making phone calls, please call the Johnson County Senior Center at 727-8883 for more information. The staff of the Johnson County Senior Center looks forward to the time when the doors are open, and the air is filled with the sounds of laughter and happy voices of our senior members.