May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 23

identifying as Hispanic. Many participants were
above poverty levels and had high school diplomas.
Younger participation trends toward suburban, larger,
new and comprehensive senior centers.
And Then Came the COVID-19 Pandemic
During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, senior
centers closed in February or March 2020, and most
remained closed until January 2021. Nutritional services
were
available
as
drive-thru service
continuously
during the pandemic even though centers were closed.
Participants often created small lunch groups in nearby
parks and were often seen walking or exercising after
eating. Outdoor walking trails were popular when
indoor tracks closed. Some center participants travelled
around the world and learned new skills virtually
and loved it. Exercise, fitness, music, crafts, dancing,
entertainment and cooking programs continued with
live video; on-demand, prerecorded programs; and
booklets. Older adults could check out tablets and
laptops along mobile hot spots to stay connected. Adult
coloring books, meditation and relaxation activities
were disseminated to relieve stress.
Outreach to
participants by phone, video and
home-delivered materials, as well as through peer
connections, were instituted by nearly every center.
Senior center and public health staff worked collaboratively,
sharing health and vaccine information.
Services offered during the pandemic helped center
participants meet basic needs (food, utilities, shelter,
clothing and safety), maintain mental and emotional
health, engage in physical activity, and stay connected.
During the pandemic shelter-in-place mandates,
nearly all senior center participants found services
were needed, helpful and appreciated.
What's Next?
In January 2022, 21 directors, who were part of this rejuvenation
investigation, were asked if the COVID-19
pandemic revitalized senior centers. In summary,
most felt older adults of color, in poor health and
with lower socioeconomic backgrounds needed additional
services and they found ways to secure them.
Some participants were busy caring for grandchildren
while their parents worked. Intergenerational arts and
crafts, music, exercise, dancing and cooking activities
were offered virtually with daycare coordinators. New
hobbies were introduced, such as learning to play an
Participants often created small
lunch groups in nearby parks
and were often seen walking or
exercising after eating.
instrument or joining a gospel sing-along, and are
continuing as participants return to centers. Outdoor
programs like hiking, bird watching, lawn bowling
and shuffleboard expanded.
Nearly all center directors indicated virtual programming
will increase and face-to-face programming will
continue. Many centers celebrated holidays, such Valentine's
or St. Patrick's Day, at a distance in fun-filled
ways. One center director summarized what many expressed:
" Who would have thought a pandemic could
reinvigorate, renew and revitalize senior centers. "
Jean Keller is a Professor at the University of North
Texas Department of Kinesiology, Health Promotion and
Recreation (jean.keller@unt.edu).
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May 2022 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of May 2022 - Parks & Recreation

May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Intro
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Cover1
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Cover2
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 1
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 2
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 3
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 4
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 5
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 6
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 7
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 8
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 8a
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 8b
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 9
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 10
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 11
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 12
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 13
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 14
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 15
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 16
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 17
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 18
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 19
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 20
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 21
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 22
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 23
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 24
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 25
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 26
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 27
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 28
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 29
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 30
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 31
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 32
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 33
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 34
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 35
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 36
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 37
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May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 40
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 41
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 42
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 43
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May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 45
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May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 50
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 51
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 52
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 53
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May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 55
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 56
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Cover3
May 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Cover4
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https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2023
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https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2021
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