Coronavirus Keeps Seniors Apart But Anne Arundel Fills The Void

Kristin Danley-Greiner

This article originally appeared on the Annapolis Patch

ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY, MD — Many senior citizens in Anne Arundel County have grown accustomed to socializing regularly at their local senior center each week, enjoying mealtime together and being in physical contact with others. But the new coronavirus has quashed all of that, especially since senior citizens fall into the high-risk category for contracting the new coronavirus and must stay at least 6 feet away from others.

Pam Jordan, director of the Anne Arundel County Department of Aging and Disabilities, shared during a virtual town hall meeting this week with other county officials that its seven county senior centers were forced to close. But many seniors still need nourishment provided for them. The county has stepped up to offer a frozen meals program to replace its hot lunch program offered every weekday at locations across the country under the Older Americans Act.

"Our first launch was Tuesday and it went flawlessly. It was a Herculean effort to feed 1,100 people in a different way," said Jordan.

Seniors age 60 and older must register in advance to participate and receive seven frozen meals to last for the week. They can still sign up at senior_nutrition@aacounty.org or by calling 410-222-0256.

To help with the socializing component, the department launched a virtual way for seniors to stay safe and connected during the new coronavirus pandemic. With its seven senior activity centers closed and hundreds of people left alone at home, the new video series aims to keep seniors active and healthy. The videos will focus on exercise, art projects, crafts, line dancing, music and more.

“The launch is the first in a daily series that will continue to build content that is interesting and engaging for our community while they take the necessary precautions," said Jordan.

To view the YouTube videos, visit here. The videos also will be broadcast on Arundel TV