MySeniorCenter Fun Facts

Tuesday, September 1st, 2020

Last month we reviewed preliminary results from our reopening survey. In this month's issue we present the full survey data from nearly 100 Centers, highlighting your plans, precautions and procedures for reopening. For some Centers, you're already open; for others that's still weeks or months away. In any case, we can all learn from each other. Mistakes will be made, steps will be missed, stress levels will be high, but hopefully your Seniors know that everything you're doing is for them. Our wish for you is that your members show you empathy and let the little things slide while we all figure this out.

In order to make the survey most meaningful, we chose Centers from different geographies, in a range of sizes and from a mix of rural, suburban and urban settings. We collected information that we thought would be important as you craft your reopening plans.

Welcome to...Fun Facts - the
Creating a Plan


Masks Up!

We all have a responsibility to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Two simple things we can do are use hand sanitizer and wear a mask, especially when social distancing isn't possible. One of the questions we asked in the survey was about mask policies when the Center eventually reopens. When we presented the preliminary results last month, 52% of all respondents said that they would be requiring masks. That number is now up to 67%. Although each state and province can make their own rules regarding masks, hopefully Senior Centers will set the right tone in keeping people safe.

If you need any PPE products, our friends at MacKinnon Printing put together a website where you can order disposable face masks, customizable coverings for your staff, floor decals, forehead thermometers, gloves, hand sanitizer and more. You can access it here: PPE Products and he'll ship straight to your Center (or wherever).

Night Fever

We were curious if Centers would be implementing a temperature screening. The magic number, according to the CDC is 100.4 degress Fahrenheit/38 Celcius. If a person has a temperature at or above that number, then that person has a fever and you shouldn't let them in. It doesn't mean they have COVID-19, but it is a sympton of the virus. Of course, a temperature will not show in an asymptomatic person, so it shouldn't be the only screening option. Roughly 20% of Centers said they would be using a temperature screen. Nearly 68% reported they'd require their participants to complete a checklist confirming they haven't been in contact with anyone feeling sick, have visited a hotspot, or have a fever - or some variant of this CDC screening tool. To help with that we've enabled a waiver function on the touchscreen. You can load your own language so each participant has to accept (and sign if desired) before checking in for activities. Here's a document describing how it works. If you have any questions, email our support team. For more information about how to use the touchscreen during this time, see the section on the left called Human Touch.

Islands In The Stream

As we get deeper into this, Centers are adapting their social and fitness programs to reach Seniors where they are - at home! The survey showed us that roughly 85% of all Centers are offering some type of virtual programming. Some have a combination of live and pre-recorded, some are doing old-school conference calls, and many are doing a combination of everything. One group told us they've converted their conference room into a television studio! Here are the numbers*:

  • 55% have a YouTube, Facebook or other streaming channel for on-demand content
  • 27% are doing live programming with Zoom, YouTube Live or some other service
  • Daily programming on local cable TV is being offered by 10%
  • 30% are offering non-internet, phone-based conference calling - more info on that in the Call Me section on the left

* Some Centers are using multiple live and on-demand methods

Curbside Prophet

A majority of Centers we surveyed that offered home-delivered or congregate meals in The Before Time, have converted to a curbside pick-up and/or expanded their home-delivered service. Last month we highlighted several Centers and how they transitioned almost overnight to meet the need. For others, they started with a party theme and turned it into a regular event. We've heard about sidewalk BBQ's and St. Patrick's Day in July events.

If you are serving or delivering meals in this way, the handheld scanner or mobile app can be an easy way to quickly capture the names of people who participate. If they come to you, have them bring their card and then scan it with the handheld scanner or the smartphone app when they get their meal. For home-delivered meals, you can now print the barcodes for each person right on the daily route sheets for your drivers. It's a similar idea for outdoor programs. Rather than having people come into the Center to check-in, take the handheld scanner outside and scan their cards. You can download the data later at your own desk. If you need help with your handheld scanner, you can watch an overview video here. If you'd like more information about the scanners, click here. If you have questions about the app, you can email Ann Marie.

Hula Hoop Distance

Unlike outdoor activities, (see Beautiful Day on the left), indoor classes will need very specific distancing protocols and capacity limits. Figuring out how to handle that is going to be challenging depending on your layout and local rules. Here are some ideas:

  • Vicky in Warren County NC is marking off distances with tape and hula hoops! The hoops create a great visual to see the appropriate space
  • Time limits on exercise equipment followed by intense cleaning sessions
  • Alternate days of the week based on birth year
  • Pre-registration online or by phone for all classes and use of exercise equipment
  • A maximum 20% of normal building capacity at all times
  • Stay in your car until called for medical, legal and tax appointments

The Heroes of Our Time

Thanks for everything you've done and will do over the next few months to keep your participants fed and mentally, physically and socially engaged.

Stay safe and healthy!