With seniors being some of the most vulnerable to COVID-19, the Highlands Ranch Metro District has taken steps to change its Active Adult programs while keeping up a sense of connection in the group.
Normally, the HRMD organizes three events per month, including a coffee meeting, a luncheon and a social hour or dinner. But with restrictions on large group gatherings, many of the programs have been canceled.
Jodie McCann, the Active Adult Program’s coordinator, is continuing events anyway — but virtually.
“We know that people’s physical and mental health is affected when they’re homebound,” she said. “And they’re not able to be with family and friends or be engaged with the community. So it’s a concern.”
The group is still having three monthly meetings around the same time periods, but now, they’re through video conferences. They’re also sending out newsletters with information pertinent to seniors and COVID-19 along with ways to stay active during the state’s shut down order, McCann said.
“If people are able to leave their home and do something enjoyable, they’re going to be healthier,” she said. “Their aging experience will be enhanced by those connections.”
The video meetings have had an average of about 10 people and are usually freeform socializing.
“Typically I would be at a recreation center with a resource table introducing programs and directing people to resources,” she said. “But we’re socially distancing so that’s not happening.”
The program will likely move outdoors and begin limited in-person events in mid-July with things like picnics and trail walks, McCann said.
More information on the Active Adult Program is available online at highlandsranch.org and by selecting “Services” then “Active Adult Programs and Services.”
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