Warsaw Senior Center Engages With Outreach

Judy Kramer
County Reporter
The doors to Warsaw’s Senior Center, in Harbor Village, may be closed due to COVID-19, but many of its services are still ongoing. 
“We serve homebound meals, and provide curbside lunches from 11 AM to 1 PM, Monday through Friday,” said Center Coordinator Marge Hetherington. “People’s favorite meal is Fried Chicken served on the first and third Friday of each month. They also like meatloaf that is served a couple of times a month on different days.”
According to goaging.org, the senior center nutritious and delicious meals for people 60 and older are at the core of its operations at all 22 of its senior centers. Those over 60 may enjoy a meal regardless of their ability to contribute. However, they encourage contributions. People younger than 60 are welcome to enjoy the lunches for the actual cost of the meals.
Hetherington said that the Center hosts a food bank at times where outside pickups are available, and menus for the Center Café are passed out. Gift baskets are sometimes given to people when they arrive for food pickup. The baskets may include something from the café and supplies like laundry detergent and dog food. 
“Our care manager is available to answer senior’s questions about insurance, especially Medicaid and Medicare,” said Hetherington. “There are activities offered on Zoom, and online through www.goaging.org. There is also free Facebook Live which is part of Learning Connection. Exercises including Tai Chi are offered online, and volunteers are coming forward to offer other online activities.”
When asked if there was a scheduled re-opening date for the Senior Center, Hetherington said that the health department and central office for the Senior Center will make that decision. She said that plexiglass has been ordered to help with social distancing, but has not arrived yet.
Many seniors continue to pick up lunches, but some do not take advantage of the activities offered online. 
Norma and Graham Ard used to go to the Warsaw Senior Center every week day, and they miss it very much. 
“We are spending time building puzzles, reading books and working in the yard,” said Norma Ard. “We also get curbside meals at the Center a couple of times a week, especially when they have fried chicken and meat loaf. I praise God that Graham and I have each other during this time. We are happy and I am thankful for him. We both miss our friends and other people.”
The Ards said that they sometimes drive to McDonald’s and go to church, but because of underlying conditions were trying to stay as safe as possible. Norma said they do not do online activities. She used to sing at local nursing homes two times a week, but is prevented from doing that at this time.
Jim and Amy Wills have been active in the Senior Center for years, and miss visiting with people there, getting to know new people and generally mingling. They used to help carry lunch trays at the café and cleaned tables as volunteers. 
“We have also visited a lot of people we know, (from church, square dancing and the senior center) at five nursing homes in the area,” said Amy Wills. “Now we can only visit on the porch at the Ambrose Park Residential Care nursing home in Cole Camp. Jim does most of our shopping while I stay home, and because he likes to be busy and with people he also hands out bulletins and does the people count at church.”
A few of the upcoming online events for seniors are “Free, online ‘Walk With Ease’ Course on September 21; “Living a Healthy Life” – Virtual on Zoom, September 23; and “Grandparent Connection – Recurring online group”, weekly beginning September 15 through October 20. Check out www.goaging.org for more information.