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Melanie Myatt visits with her father Foy Smith, a member of Madison Senior Center, who offers to share his lunch during the center’s parking lot social. CONTRIBUTED

Senior center members ‘take it outside’ for social time

MADISON – Time with friends for members at Madison Senior Center has taken a forced hiatus with the COVID-19 pandemic. Luckily, the center staff realized the need for the senior citizens to visit among themselves.

“As a staff, Madison Senior Center collaborated for the idea to have the parking lot social, in hopes that the seniors would have fun and fellowship with familiar faces,” Activities Coordinator LaWanda Mason said.

“The event took place midday, giving the seniors the opportunity to bring a lunch,” Mason said about the social ‘outing’ on Oct. 12 at 11 a.m.

“The center’s east parking lot provided the optimum location. Signs were placed throughout the parking lot to encourage seniors to maintain social distances,” Mason said.

Some of center members no longer drive a car. “That’s why I want to be sure to thank the drivers that brought some of the seniors out that day,” Mason said about the carpooling and ‘taxi’ service to attend the event.

“We requested for the seniors to bring a chair, so that they could get out of their cars and enjoy socializing from across the parking lot,” Mason said. The entire staff at Madison Senior Center worked together for planning, set up, implementation of the activity and cleanup.

Outside at the social, “elevator music” played in the background to set a relaxing mood. Some members opted to engage in “coloring therapy” with crayons and sheets with patterns, flowers or still life. National surveys have shown that adults can relieve stress and feel a sense of serenity during a coloring session.

“As the seniors were leaving, we hoped that they experienced happiness, inner peace and hope that we will all make it through this together!” Mason said.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Madison Senior Center closed on March 13 and unfortunately has been closed to the senior citizens since that time. “As for an official re-opening date, senior centers statewide in Alabama are waiting on orders from Gov. Kay Ivey as to when we all can reopen,” Mason said.

Madison Senior Center’s address is 1282 Hughes Road. For information, call 256-772-6258, email lawanda.mason@madisonal.gov or visit www.madisonal.gov or Facebook/Madison Senior Center, Madison, Alabama.

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