WINSTED — For over a year and a half, due to the Covid-19 pandemic the Winsted Senior Center building, located at 80 Holabird Avenue, was vacant and quiet.
Community lunches, fitness programs, bingo games, and all of the other programs normally held at the Senior Center were all halted.
In the meantime, the Senior Center offered Grab and Go lunches for area seniors at the center’s parking lot.
As the pandemic started to wane, the center started to re-open back in April with some of its programs.
“It’s great that we’re starting to get people in here again,” Senior Center Director Jennifer Kelley said to The Winsted Phoenix. “I was a little apprehensive at first because I thought that I didn’t think people would come. I am in contact with senior centers across the state. A lot of them are slowly opening, but a lot of people are not coming because they are still afraid. But in Winsted, a lot of the older adults have been vaccinated, so they are all confident to come back out again.”
Kelley said that, at first, the center reopened with in-person exercise programs.
“First, the seniors were exercising with masks on,” she said. “Even with the masks on, you could still see everyone smiling and happy.”
Kelley said that programs and events at the center are slowly being reintroduced, with bingo and card game events restarted in mid-June.
Fitness classes are still being ramped up, with the center now holding seven fitness classes a week.
“Both in-person and Zoom fitness classes have a place, but I do enjoy in-person classes the most,” Senior Center member Carole Fox said.
“I think the Senior Center is great because the community needs this place,” chair yoga and tai chi teacher Tina Puckett said. “It brings people together and it’s great to see people back together again.”
The Senior Center still offers fitness classes via Zoom in conjunction with its in-person classes for residents who do not yet want to travel.
Kelley said that the center is still waiting a little while longer before it starts in-person lunches again, but will continue to offer Grab and Go lunches daily in the parking lot.
She added that the center is looking to offer trips for seniors in the fall.
“The previous tour company that we were using went out of business during the pandemic,” she said. “But we are offering three trips with a different company right now, including a trip to Atlantic City in October.”
Residents over the age of 55 can join the center for $6 a year.
For more information about the Winsted Senior Center go to their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/wsc.page