Colley Senior Complex to reopen May 3
Alabama’s Safer Apart order will allow for Alabama senior citizen centers that include social, nutritional, educational and recreational activities to reopen beginning Monday, April 19.
For Catherine Jordan and her staff at the Colley Senior Complex in Troy, that’s a light at the end of a dark tunnel, but a dim one.
On March 20, 2020, as COVID-19 dictated, the Colley Senior Complex in Troy closed its doors to its participants.
“That was a sad day for all of us at the Colley Senior Complex,” Jordan said. “But we had no idea that it would be more than a year before we could open the doors again. For me, this past year had been like a dream, a bad dream and I couldn’t wake up.”
Jordan said, initially, the City of Troy senior citizen program shut down completely for a month. Then, its staff came back to fill in with the Troy Nutrition Center’s curbside meals and later to assist with the delivery of hot meals.
Now, with the Safer Apart order, Jordan said the Colley Senior Complex will be able to open its door “slightly.”
“We will only be able to have classes where the participants can be six feet apart,” Jordan said. “So, we will open with limits on May 3, with aerobics, ceramics, painting, walking classes. But, we won’t be able to offer some of our most popular activities like dominoes and card games. We can’t offer anything where there is the touching of items or sitting close together. And, we will not be able to have food or drinks.”
Whether or not masks will be worn at the Colley Senior Complex will be left up to the individual participants.
“We can’t require that masks be worn,” Jordan said. “However, we can say that masks are preferred. Then, it will be up to each participant as to whether or not to wear masks. However, I would think that most of our participants will continue to wear masks. COVID-19 has slowed but it’s not gone. We are all anxious to get back somewhere close to normal. If wearing masks will help us get there, I think most of the participants at the senior center will prefer to wear masks.”
Jordan said those who choose to return to the Colley Senior Complex must agree to have their temperature scanned, be questioned about recent possible exposure to COVID-19 and be willing to comply with Alabama’s Safer Apart order.
“This has been a hard year in many ways, a very emotional year,” Jordan said. “I’m excited that some of the restrictions are being lifted. I know there are people who think things are moving too fast and might be hesitant to come back to the Colley Senior Complex right now. But, those who do come back will walk through the door understanding the regulations.”
Jordan said there will be no mingling and jingling, and added laughing, or “hanging for the chandelier.”
“The Colley Senior Complex has always been a lively and fun place for all of us and we hate that it has come to this,” she said. “What has happened is unbelievable. We’ve had wars and nuclear threats but who would have thought a pandemic would have shut down the world? Maybe one day we will be back to something close to normal. But, right now, we are excited to see some light at the end of the tunnel.