Senior centers in Alabama will be able to reopen for indoor activities starting on Monday. For many in our community, the senior center is a place where they go to enjoy time with friends and family.
Because of the pandemic, the Huntsville - Madison County Senior Center has been closed to the public for more than a year.
Balance class at the Huntsville - Madison County Senior Center looks a little different these days.
"I really had no idea what I was in store for," said Charlotte Hudson, who teaches balance class at the senior center.
Hudson teaches her class through a computer screen.
"Finally, well I won't say we have it perfected yet, but anyway we got it, we got it up and running but it took a while," said Hudson.
The Huntsville - Madison County Senior Center was forced to turn the lights off as many rooms sat empty for the last year, because of the pandemic. "For some seniors, they come here on a daily basis when it's open. The people that they associate with every day, that's they're family and so during the pandemic, not only have these people lost their connection with their biological family then they've also lost connection with their social family," said Hudson.
"It was very difficult, and it still is difficult. Our poor driveway and parking lot is empty, and our halls are empty but hopefully that will be coming to an end very soon," said Cathie Mayne, Market Director for Huntsville - Madison County Senior Center.
Mayne said the senior center will not open its doors right away.
"Probably going to have a soft opening sometime early in May with some very specific classes to see how things will work and then we will have a big hurrah later," said Mayne.
"The senior center has been cleaned from top to bottom. We're getting new floors in the restrooms. We have sanitizer and use of sanitizing machines. Everyone will be required to wear a mask and we will have folks give proof of their vaccinations," said Mayne.
"Our population is one of the most fragile and we want to do all that we can to make sure they are safe," said Mayne.
Hudson says she's excited for the day when she can see her balance class family in person.
"I'm really looking forward to when we can be back together and see each other and say hey, how's your grand baby doing? Oh I notice you are kinda limping today, you know what's going on with you? Just having that personal contact," said Hudson.
The senior center does not have a specific date yet on when they will open for a few classes in early May.
For more information about the Huntsville - Madison County Senior Center, click here.