Snowstorms

By Karen Adcock, Senior Services Director and Guest Blogger,

 

elderly looking out window

Snowstorms are more than bad roads as far as the Senior Department is concerned.

When we get a significant snowfall, almost every one of our programs is affected.  As a rule of thumb, if the local school districts are closed due to inclement weather, the Senior Bus Transportation program is automatically closed.  There have been occasions when the schools might remain open; however, safety of our elderly riders comes first, so we may still make the decision to cancel the bus transportation.

The Senior Bus Transportation program serves as the means of transportation for many of our riders who need to get to doctor appointments, go grocery shopping or other business related appointments. Risks such as un-shoveled walkways or driveways can pose potential life-threatening injuries, therefore bus service is cancelled.

We also have to decide if our nutrition program will be cancelled.  Again, using the school closing as a gage for our daily senior luncheons here at the Community Center, delivery of meals is automatically cancelled. 

However, cancelling Meals on Wheels for our homebound seniors is a different situation and a difficult decision. For many of the recipients, this may be their only meal or only opportunity to have personal contact that day.

Our food service provider is OPC (Older Persons Commission) in Rochester. They cook the meals and transport them over in special trucks.  Senior Services staff and volunteers pack the meals and additional volunteers deliver the meals.  While we will try our very best to deliver Meals on Wheels, we do not want our volunteers to be put in harm’s way.  To prepare for times like yesterday, the seniors previously received emergency food pantry packets which contain 4 days worth of meals. 

Our staff calls each senior enrolled in these programs to let them know we are closed, as well as to check on their well-being when these cancellations occur. This takes quite a bit of coordination between the different services and programs.

Our team does a great job in these circumstances. We are glad we were able to get back to business as usual today and have the programs running to serve our seniors.

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