Welcome, back! Members return to Madison Senior Center

MADISON – Welcome back, senior citizens! Even with cautionary protocol and procedures, Madison Senior Center members are happy to return to their comfortable home-away-from-home.

After a year-plus closure due to COVID-19, the center conducted a limited opening on April 19. “We have lots of changes implemented to better serve clients and bring them back to the center as seamlessly as possible after this extended time away,” Levoneia Ayers, Interim Senior Center Director, said.

The center is following Alabama Department Senior Services’ guidelines, issued after Gov. Kay Ivey’s state health order on April 4.

Kory Alfred has responsibility for the center as Director of Parks and Recreation. Alfred said Mayor Paul Finley had approved the center’s limited reopening. “The center is open for scheduled activities only. Masks are going to be required by both staff and Senior Center clients,” Alfred said.

A software program, MySeniorCenter, will issue a membership card to each client. Clients will sign in daily at the kiosk, specify which class they will attend and then report to that designated area.

“We won’t have on-site congregate meals; however, we will offer Grab-and-Go meals,” Ayers said. “Our clients will communicate to staff if they want to receive the meal.” A client can pick up the meal as they leave the center after a class, or return to pick up the meal in the carline on Monday-Friday from 11:15 to 11:45 a.m.

Currently, the center offers two walking programs — Senior Strolling and Divinely Walking. “Everyone can feel free enjoy a stroll at Discovery Middle School’s walking track, along Hughes Road on the walking trail, the tennis courts (if available), or walk in the parking lot, depending on their abilities,” Ayers said.

The center will offer classes with limited capacity, due to social distancing of six feet. Classes will include Ceramics, Line Dancing for Fitness and Fun, and Keepin’ U Movin’ Chair Exercise. At Dublin Park, seniors can continue water aerobics/lap swimming and indoor track walking on Tuesday and Thursday, 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.

The billiards room is open Monday-Friday. To reserve/schedule table time, call 256-772-6242.

Residents can volunteer as delivery drivers for homebound meals; kitchen staff; and recreation, like Bingo callers. “We would love to offer the opportunity to volunteer if individuals are seeking opportunities. Call 256-772-6242,” Ayers said.

Ayers has worked as Interim Senior Center Director since Nov. 2, 2020 after Vickie Parker retired as director in October 2020. “I’ve worked for the city 20 years and 7 months to-date. I began working as Recreation Morning Receptionist at Dublin Park,” she said.

Ayers then was promoted to Administrative Assistant slots in Operations and in Recreation. She transferred to Active Senior/Older Adults Coordinator before her current job.

Center staff includes Margaret St. Amour, Administrative Secretary; LaWanda Mason, Activities Coordinator; Michele Georgantis, Kitchen Worker; Vicki Kanik, Arts and Crafts Worker; and Richard Gray and Kenneth Brown, Complex Workers.

“The staff and I are very excited about the seniors’ return. They have been missed,” Ayers said.

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