The Groveport Senior Center is back!

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By Rick Palsgrove
Groveport Editor

Photo courtesy of the city of Groveport
Chair volleyball is one of the many fun activities at the Groveport Senior Center.

The Groveport Senior Center re-opened in May and will celebrate its return with an open house on July 10 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“This will be an open house event,” said Lisa Zurbriggen, city of Groveport senior services manager. “All are welcome and invited to come see the center and all that we have to offer for seniors. There will be craft demonstrations, sponsor organizations, chair volleyball demonstrations, and tours of the facility. It will be a great opportunity for the community to come see the Groveport Senior Center.”

Like many places over the past year, the Groveport Senior Center had been closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We were closed for most of 2020 from mid-March until we opened our doors on May 12, 2021,” said Zurbriggen. “During that time, the staff made phone calls to check on our members each month and we got to hear their stories. A great deal of people spoke about how hard it was to be quarantined and isolated. They spoke about their fears and even depression caused by the pandemic. We were able to offer some drive-thru events monthly where people could drive their cars to the center to receive a meal or treat. These events drew 100 people or more! People were just so glad to get out of the house and interact, even briefly, with other people.”

Currently the Groveport Senior Center has 351 members. The minimum age to be eligible to use the Groveport Senior Center is 55.

“Due to pandemic regulations, the Center was just able to open our doors to members to begin activities and events,” said Zurbriggen. “Each week we are seeing a few more people than the week before. Word is getting out and people want to get back to getting out and being social. Most of our members have been fully vaccinated since the senior population was the first to have the opportunity.”

The Groveport Senior Center offers various activities including social activities and events, art and crafting, weekly congregate lunches, game playing (euchre, hand and foot, billiards, bingo), a book club, travel opportunities, physical activities (music and dance, chair volleyball), life-long learning opportunities and health screenings.

“As we phase our reopening to ensure the safety of our members and staff, we will be adding more activities and events throughout the year,” said Zurbriggen. “We are currently working with Columbus Speech and Hearing to offer education and screening for members. We will also be bringing back blood pressure screenings as we phase back to a full schedule. We also work with sponsors to offer healthy nutritional cooking demonstrations and activities.”

Zurbriggen said the Groveport Senior Center important to the community because it provides a safe and welcoming space for senior members of Groveport and surrounding communities to gather socially to enjoy a wide variety of activities and events that have a positive impact on their lives.

“The senior demographic continues to grow and it is very important to have facilities and programs focused on the needs of aging community members,” said Zurbriggen. “Active and engaged senior center members become active engaged community members.”

Zurbriggen gave an example of a person who the Groveport Senior Center has helped.

“When we were making our monthly check in calls, we encountered a gentleman that was having a really rough time with some health issues and he was struggling with depression caused by isolation,” said Zurbriggen. “He was no longer driving and didn’t have family close that could help him. Not only were we able to spend time on the phone with him to encourage and listen, we were also able to deliver a pie to him from one of our drive-thru events. He was so pleased, surprised and happy to receive the gift and to see one of our staff members. I’m sure these interactions were helpful to many of our members that we talked to.”

The Groveport Senior Center is located at 7370 Groveport Road at the Groveport Recreation Center. It is open the same hours as the Groveport Recreation Center: 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday; Saturday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Sunday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Senior Center is staffed from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. For information call 614-836-4599.

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