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Alabama’s senior centers reopen for indoor activities

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Alabama’s elderly can now participate in more social activities.

Senior centers are reopening for indoor gatherings under Governor Ivey’s Safer Apart Program. The meeting places provide essential services like meals and exercise classes to the elderly. The centers were previously open only for outdoor activities and to-go meals.

Jean Brown is the Commissioner of Alabama Senior Services. She said COVID-19 has affected the mental health of Alabama’s elderly.  

“We know that isolation can be very deadly. Isolation for seniors is something of great concern to me, and that’s why we’re so eager to safely return our seniors to their senior centers,” she said. 

Vaccinations remain an issue with almost fifty percent of Alabamians reportedly unwilling to get a shot. Brown said her agency is working to get seniors vaccinated.  

“The Department of Senior Services is scheduled to receive a fairly large federal grant to help encourage not only senior citizens but also Alabama’s disabled population to seek vaccination,” she said.

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There are around 350 senior centers throughout Alabama. Today’s order does not apply to nursing homes.

Libby Foster is a news intern for Alabama Public Radio.
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