Senior Connections Nov/Dec 2020 Regional publicati

November / December 2020

VOLUME 2 | NO . 6
SeniorConnectionsHJ . COM

Note to our readers :

This is a combined November / December issue .

Sewing offers comfort for seniors during the pandemic

The world is operating under a strange new normal this year , and measures to control the COVID-19 pandemic continue to impact daily lives .
Medical professionals have urged people to stay home as much as possible , especially seniors and those with pre-existing conditions , as they are more vulnerable to serious complications from COVID- 19 .
With family members unable to visit , senior centers temporarily closed , community rooms off limits , and assisted living centers cancelling group activities , residents are left searching for ways to occupy their time .
The Mayo Clinic encourages those stuck at home to find ways to stay busy , advising , “ A distraction can get you away from the cycle of negative thoughts that feed anxiety and depression . Enjoy hobbies that you can do at home , identify a new project , or clean out that closet you promised you ’ d get to . Doing something positive to manage anxiety is a healthy coping strategy .”
Since the first stay-at-home orders last March , many area seniors have done just that , increasing the amount of time they spend sewing and crafting .
Loretta Altricher , 82 , of Buffalo , has been crocheting and sewing for as long as she can remember .
With limited activities at her 55 + apartment complex , Altricher started sewing masks during the pandemic to stay busy . Her daughter , Laurie Schaust , does the shopping for her mom , keeping her supplied with fabric , thread , and elastic . Shaust sells the masks at her store in Delano , and donates the proceeds to the local food shelf . Together , they have raised more than $ 400 .
Peggy Kelly , 81 , of Delano , has been an active participant at the Delano Senior Center for years , spending a few days per week at the center . When the pandemic closed the center down in March , she needed to find other activities to fill her days .
Kelly does her best to keep busy , but she is bored
Peggy Kelly and Bobbi Dunn set up their craft display table at the Delano Senior Center holiday boutique last year . They hope to be able to participate in a modified event in 2020 .
SUBMITTED PHOTO much of the time . She explained , “ I ’ m used to coming and going whenever I feel like it . The first two weeks , I started calling people just to take up time . But it got to a point where there wasn ’ t anything to talk about .”
Kelly has been an avid sewer for years , making everything from underwear to outerwear , and drapes to recovering furniture . She has also been sewing for her daughter , who recently suffered a leg injury . Kelly stated , “ I ’ ve been sewing skirts and nightgowns for her , and she keeps sending me project ideas to keep me busy .”
When she heard there was a need for cloth masks , she shifted gears . Kelly said , “ I ’ ve made over 540 masks , which I ’ ve donated to several different places .”
Kelly has donated 100 masks to the local clinic , 120 masks to the senior center , 50 masks to the school district , and masks for almost everyone at the apartment complex she lives in .
Kelly also crochets , and has designed more than 250 snowflakes , crosses , and bookmarks . Every December , she has a table at the annual senior center boutique during the annual Old-Fashioned Christmas event in Delano .
In addition to crafting , Kelly spends time working on puzzles and crosswords , and “ sometimes , I just get into my car and drive just to get out of the apartment .”
More SEWING on Pg 24
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