Seniors return to their lives as Perham Senior Center reopens and COVID cases fall
The Perham Senior Center recently reopened its doors after being closed throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Food isn't yet available at the center, but available activities include cards, puzzles, cribbage and visiting only.
When you've retired and spend your days doing recreational activities, the COVID-19 pandemic and its restrictions can create a lot of boredom. The Perham Senior Center recently reopened its doors after being closed throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Food isn't yet available at the center, but available activities include cards, puzzles, cribbage and visiting only. For a couple of seniors in the Perham area, this change has been greatly appreciated.
Before the center's reopening, Perham's Gary Christen, 78, said life wasn't very good because there was nothing to do. According to him, no restaurants were open.
"I played cards one day a week for two or three hours," Christen said. "That was my one activity for a whole week." He also occasionally went shopping but couldn't do much else. For him, this was horrible.
James Neuerburg 76, of Wadena said he also couldn't do anything but play cards and put puzzles together.
Though, now that the Senior Center has opened its doors again, their lives are changing for the better.
"It's been great," Christen said. "I can come down here a couple times a week."
Neuerburg feels the same, saying that he now has something to do. The Senior Center has a fitness program with the PACC that he attends two times a week. He and several others go there after playing cards. For him, the best part of the past few weeks has been being able to go somewhere, look at somebody and know who they are without the mask.
For Christen, he hopes to see his grandkids and great grandkids as soon as they're fully vaccinated. He emphasized the importance of getting the COVID-19 vaccine. If he's around someone who isn't wearing a mask, he assumes they haven't been vaccinated.
"It's very important to wear a mask," Christen said. "It saves lives. You're protecting not just yourself but other people too. A lot of people don't understand that." As noted by the CDC , seniors are at a higher risk for severe COVID-19 infections.
According to the CDC , COVID-19 cases have dropped significantly over the past month. As of Tuesday, June 6, 74.8% of the American population over 65 years old is fully vaccinated, and 40.7% of the total population is fully vaccinated, the CDC said.
If you have yet not had your vaccine, you can call Otter Tail County Public Health at 218-998-8320 for more information.
According to the director of the Perham Senior Center, Carol Peeters, they hope to open fully again in June or July. She hopes they can serve food again around that time, and Christen is looking forward to this too. Peeters said that while she hopes to open completely as soon as possible, that's not up for the Senior Center to decide.
"I'm just glad this place is open again," Christen said.
The Senior Center is at 300 West Main St. If you have any questions, feel free to call 218-346-2262.