By Valencia Jones

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) — Participants and workers are excited to return to Fulton County Senior Centers, which re-opened on July 12, 2021. The COVID-19 pandemic caused the county to closed the centers in March 2020. Staff members call it a soft opening to resume their in-person senior services.

When Theresa Wilson heard they were re-opening today, she couldn’t wait to come back the Helene Mills location in person. “I signed up for the fitness center, and so this morning, I was here working out,” she said. Discounted senior lunches are back for those ages 55 and up as well. “I came back for my lunch and then I came back for another senior’s lunch who is unable to be here today,” Wilson said. “I’m glad to see that they are being reopened. I’m also excited to see the other participants.”

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“I am so excited that we’re finally at the stage of re-opening after being closed for over a year and a half,” said Fulton County Senior Services Facility Manager Sonia Foster. “Just to see the smiling faces of the participants as they enter into the door, it’s such a wonderful feeling to see them back.” She remembers when they were forced to close the centers. “Hearts were heavy. They were a little sad and disappointed. We’ve been providing in-home healthcare. We’ve been providing meals, transportation as well,” she said. As word spreads about the re-opening, they expect to have more seniors return to the facilities.

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Fulton County’s multipurpose facilities are open for independent seniors, and their neighborhood and adult day care facilities are available for those needing assistance during the day. “Currently, we’re offering reservations for our gym, we’re offering a nutritious meal every day, Monday through Friday, and we will eventually get back to having our pool open,” Foster said.

Staff members say social interaction is important. “Sometimes, it’s more important than physical activity. It keeps them vibrant. Just having someone to speak to, laugh with, is very important,” said Foster, adding seniors will still have the option of virtual classes as well.

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For more information about ongoing programs and services for seniors, and a list of centers near you, click here or call the STAR (Soaring through Resources Aging Resources) line at 404-613-6000.