Dateline Special Update: April 22, 2020

Gladstone Senior Center April 22, 2020 Gladstone Senior Center 1945 Manton St., Maplewood, MN 55109 651-748-7250 It is now going on six weeks since “Bingo” or the music from Ageless Grace or the laughter from Hand and Foot, the knitters and Dominoes, has spilled out into the hallways. The picture says it all: all that is missing is you! I hope this newsletter finds you well despite the weeks of social distancing. We are staffing the office with just one person per day and the building remains closed. Still feel free to call the office (651-748-7250) if you have any questions. We are checking the voicemail and returning phone calls. If you haven’t seen it yet, check our list of virtual activities and resources. All that is missing is you Changes to Meals on Wheels Delivery While delivering food remains an essential service, the Gladstone Meals on Wheels program was charged with the task of incorporating Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) recommendations for social distancing and minimizing visits to homes by non-family members. Meals on Wheels Specialist Abby Kemmerer rose to the challenge and in just a two-week period, the daily hot delivery was transformed into a once a week delivery of frozen meals for the upcoming week. Meals on Wheels Specialist Abby Kemmerer with volunteer Kurt The wellness check that is part of the daily hot food delivery has also taken on a different form. Now that volunteer drivers only see clients once a week, other volunteers are calling participants on non-delivery days for a brief visit and the wellness check. Meals on Wheels has seen an increase in the number of individuals requiring a weekly delivery of meals. If you or someone you know could benefit from the program, please call the office at 651-748-7250. Payment is based on a sliding fee scale based on your income. During this COVID-19 time, no one will be turned away, but will be asked to commit to a donation per meal received to help the program remain in operation during this time of need. What will reopening the Gladstone Senior Center look like? As of now, students are supposed to be returning to their schools on May 4. If the students do return to school, it is possible the Gladstone Senior Center might remain closed a little longer. The reason, the senior population is the hardest hit by this virus and there is not yet a vaccine or proven medical treatment. This does not mean that the center needs to remain closed until a treatment or vaccine is available. It does mean that Mary Kay, Doug and myself are discussing and planning how best to open the building to at least some of the senior activities, with everyone’s wellbeing in mind. There will be more to come on this topic over the next couple of weeks.