Elba Senior Center deals with year of tragedy after 29 member deaths

Local News

DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — By orders of Gov. Kay Ivey, beginning next Monday, senior centers can once again reopen for indoor activities with restrictions.

Meals can not be eaten at senior centers at the current time.

It’s been a particularly tough year at the Elba Senior Center. Since the pandemic caused the doors to be closed in March 2020, some 29 regular participants in the last year have died, many from the coronavirus, but many others from depression-related issues.

“We’ve lost 29, not all from COVID,” director Donna Falls said. “We’ve lost 29 of our seniors and parts of our heart so it’s been a rough year. “

Despite the centers being closed to indoor activities, they have maintained meals by establishing drive-throughs and delivering to shut-ins.

“Yes, you will get depressed, you feel lost, and you miss the communication, just laughing and smiling with the people you’re around with,” participant Grace Bryant said.

“People that come in, it’s like a drive-through; we fix their meals, hand it to them, and we deliver to 55 people on the bus,” Falls said. “These are people that are homebound, and some that can’t drive. We deliver about 69 meals a day.”

As time goes on, more restrictions are expected to be lifted especially as the downward trajectory of COVID-19 cases.

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