FAIRBORN — The Fairborn Senior Center has fully reopened and is available for senior citizens who have been isolated or inside for the majority of the last year and a half. The center had a slow opening in February and resumed all normal activities, including lunch and game clubs, on June 2.
According to Executive Director Ellen Slone-Farthing, many senior center members have received the coronavirus vaccine, and those she had spoken to were “feeling a little more comfortable.”
The center had shut down much of its services in March 2020, but continued its transportation and outreach programs throughout the entire pandemic, as members needed those services to make medical appointments and other essential activities. The center also started its homemaking service back up in June of 2020.
In November, Fairborn Senior Center staff served a Thanksgiving meal to over 500 people through the Dayton Foodbank. Staff served roughly 250 people at the center and delivering meals to 260 others. Slone-Farthing said due to the event’s success, they plan to reprise it again this year.
Like organizations and businesses across the country, there are some operational behaviors from the pandemic that will stay as the center reopens.
“We’re being more conscientious,” Slone-Farthing said. “Especially how we do lunches, exercise. We had several staff calling, keeping in contact with elderly members who were isolated, we plan to keep doing that.”
Several members of the center contracted COVID-19, Slone-Farthing said, though none passed from the disease. The center did have several members who died of non-COVID-related causes, though due to restrictions the center was unable to commemorate those individuals as normal. A memorial for those lost in 2020 and early 2021 is planned for September.
“A lot of our members are more like family,” Slone-Farthing said. “Some don’t have family around, or have family still alive. It helps us get some closure as well.”
In addition to transportation and homemaking, the Fairborn Senior Center also hosts crafts and games events, fitness classes, learning opportunities, support groups, and trips.