Klamath Basin Senior Center adapts to pandemic challenges

Klamath Falls, Ore. – The pandemic has had a big impact on activities at the Klamath Basin Senior Center.

Executive Director Marc Kane says changes at the senior center begin at the front door.  “Everybody that comes into the building must wear a mask.  Everybody that comes into the building must wash their hands, or use hand sanitizer.”

Group meals have been cancelled, but seniors are still being fed.

“Demand is up.”  Notes Kane.  “Because we’ve taken our congregate meals program, and turned it into a food box program – curbside pickup program.”

Kane adds demand for ‘meals on wheels’ has nearly doubled.  “About a third, maybe, of the caseload is getting two meals a day.  So all in all, we’re up to about 1400 meals a week.”

Kane says bingo revenues are down about 15 to 18 thousand dollars a month.  “Aside from bingo, however, there are other losses – and so total loss here every month is about 25 to 39 thousand a month.”

But, Kane says the biggest loss due to the pandemic isn’t financial.  “The social loss is really the biggest loss.  Everything at the senior center wraps its arm around keeping seniors connected to family, friends, and the community.”

The senior center hopes to resume some exercise classes in June.

Kane hopes to begin offering group meals again sometime in July.

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