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Barren River Region Senior Centers to Re-open By July 6

Community Action of Southern Kentucky

After more than a year of isolation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, older adults will soon be able to return for meals and socializing at senior centers in the 10-county Barren River region. 

All of the 13 senior centers in the Barren River Area Development District will re-open for meals and activities by July 6, with a few of the centers welcoming local residents back on July 1.

Kathy Fugate is senior center director for Community Action of Southern Kentucky. She said the 15 months the centers were closed during the pandemic was an especially difficult time for vulnerable elders.

“You know, not only were they more susceptible to this disease, they also were the most isolated, due to either A, not having family around or near them, or B, not being able to use technology as well, you know to keep up with Zoom or Messenger or anything like that,” said Fugate.

She said the pandemic also took a toll in other ways.

“And I think they were scared to go out, so they skipped a lot of medical appointments and things,” said Fugate. “So they really did suffer immensely, as far as the isolation goes, as well.”

The 13 senior centers in the Barren River Area Development District continued to provide food for older adults during the pandemic, with more than 114,000 meals served during curbside pick-up or delivered to the homebound. 

Fugate said she has heard about situations that were intensified by isolation. For instance, one senior center manager was informed about a local resident who became malnourished during the pandemic. That person is now getting meals through the program.

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