Kroc Center’s Older Adult Programs Resume after Year-long Pandemic Pause
For lifelong swimmer and Kroc Center member Cheryl Kelly, 72, being able to get back into the Kroc Center’s pool this spring after a year-long hiatus during the COVID-19 pandemic has been wonderful. But, she admitted, even beyond the many fitness and health benefits offered by the Kroc Center, she is most excited about the opportunity to connect with her peers again.
“The best part about coming back has been seeing the people we know so well and have missed over the last year,” said Kelly. “There is very much a social element here, and it’s good to be able to enjoy that again.”
Beginning April 1, the Kroc Center began to reopen its classes for older adults after pausing them last March at the start of the pandemic. Aquacise, Tai Chi and Functional Fitness classes are now running on weekday mornings.
“We’re glad to be able to encourage older adults to begin mobile activities again,” said Kroc Center Health and Recreation Director Sandy Andersen. “The pool is open, the gym is open, the pickleball courts are open. Word is getting out that individuals can come back safely.”
She added that the Kroc Center is continuing to adhere to social distancing and mask-wearing protocols (for “land” classes).
Like Kelly, Anderson noted that in addition to the physical benefits, the classes offer an opportunity for seniors – many of whom have been isolated for the past year – to reconnect and socialize.
“We kept in touch with a lot of our older members this past year,” Andersen said. “Our instructors called periodically to check in and make sure they were okay. They’re like family.”
Still, there is nothing like in-person connection, which is why Cheryl Kelly is thrilled to be back. She’s also looking forward to the day when the Kroc Center’s “coffee room” reopens.
“It’s a great place to gather, play dominoes or cards, knit and chat,” she said. “We really miss that, but I also know it’s good to be cautious right now. One step at a time.”
For more information about The Salvation Army Kroc Center’s older adult classes, call (402) 905-3500.