SARASOTA — The Senior Friendship Centers in Venice and Sarasota are slowly expanding programs and services “in compliance with state, county and local guidelines concerning COVID-19,” it said in a news release.
“As we move forward in a new landscape of social distancing, our first priority is YOU — our members, volunteers, clients and staff,” it said.
Its plans are going to be reevaluated weekly.
“Our medical clinics will continue providing telehealth for patients, using a small group of volunteer providers,” it said. “These calls have been successful for patient follow up, prescription refills, and physician ‘visits.’ The medical and dental clinics will reopen for in-person visits on July 6.”
Activity Centers in Sarasota and Venice are opening at 25% capacity from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday.
“Members, volunteers and employees must enter through the front door of the Activity Center, where they will have their temperature taken, answer health/travel screening questions, and sign a health affidavit,” it said. “Classes may be conducted while adhering to social distancing guidelines.”
However, it won’t include dancing, exercise classes or card games.
The centers will keep cleaning throughout the day in high touch areas with tape marking some areas for social distancing.
“We are asking staff and clients to provide their own masks to be worn while in the Activity Centers,” it said.
Some groups, like the LGBTQ group, will continue to have virtual support groups.
Adult Day Services continue to have virtual engagements with clients with computer-based activities “to further help homebound family caregivers by providing meaningful peer interaction for those with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.”
“The Caregiver Resource Center will continue offering virtual support groups and other programming via Zoom and conference calls,” the news release stated. “Clients have begun to return to The Living Room in limited numbers.”
Home delivered meals for clients in need continue. The centers have delivered more than 115,000 meals to homebound seniors during 2020, which it noted is a 454% increase.
Those needing home delivered meals can call
Sarasota County: (941) 556-3208
Desoto/Charlotte: (941) 255-0723
Lee: (239) 236-8684
“During this challenging time, our seniors need us more than ever. Being isolated and lonely causes people to withdraw and experience increased health issues and depression,” it said. “With an abundance of caution, we will begin to open our programs slowly and carefully so that we can continue to provide a safety net for older adults. Our first and foremost goal will be to keep our valued members, staff and volunteers safe.”