Piedmont senior centers reopen after COVID closures

Piedmont Triad News

ARCHDALE, N.C. (WGHP) — With social distancing rules relaxing, senior centers are reopening, including the ones in Randolph County.

“It was boring without them and very quiet,” said Archdale Senior Center Director Misty Gasey. “We are excited to have them back.”

Arlyn and Darlene Himes are regulars at the Archdale Senior Center. Darlene said it was tough being away from the center for 15 months.

“When it first started, I didn’t like it because I was restless,” said Darlene Himes.

The married couple lost their social network. So for 15 months, they entertained each other.

“My wife and I, we played a lot of board games, Scrabble, and I like jigsaw puzzles,” said Arlyn.

The seniors were out of the building for 15 months, but they were not forgotten.  

“We called them once a week and they came up here to pick up meals every other week,” said Gasey. “We sent out a packet with activities and stuff in it. So we stayed in touch with our seniors throughout the 15 months we were closed.”

It was a big deal when the senior centers across Randolph County reopened.  Barbara Emery is the assistant director at the Archdale Senior Center and was there for the reopening.

“The day they came back in, they had assigned seats, but they were yelling across the room ‘How are you, what have you been doing?’ and things like that,” said Emery. “It was wonderful to see and I was so glad when they came back.”

To make sure everyone remains healthy, temperature checks are taken at the door, art supplies cannot be shared and there’s frequent cleaning. Face masks are optional.

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