SPOTSWOOD–Bringing smiles and support while minding social distancing restrictions, the Spotswood Office on Aging and Senior Center has been using caravan tours to keep up morale amongst its patrons.
“Once the senior center closed, my coworkers and I tried to come up with different ways to connect with our seniors. Many of our clients aren’t online so visiting them while remaining socially distant from them, and each other, seemed like a good way to interact in a safe yet meaningful way. Thus, the caravan tour was started,” Spotswood Office on Aging Director Donna Faulkenberry said.
While utilizing the office’s vehicles, Faulkenberry said the office has already done three caravan tours with each one being two weeks apart.
“We start out at the Crescent Park and Woodmere senior apartment complexes, beeping our horns and waving to residents at their windows and stopping to speak to the residents who come out of their apartments,” Faulkenberry said. “We then head to the Clearwater Village adult community complex and finally head back through town. This past tour [May 6-7] we had to split it up into two days because we were driving around for almost six hours on the second one.”
Faulkenberry said the office hopes to continue holding caravan tours for as long as its patrons can’t be together at the center.
“My coworkers and I are getting so much joy out of these trips. The first trip was all about seeing their faces and catching up. The second time around we had a little fun and gave out rolls of toilet paper,” Faulkenberry said. “On this last trip, we teamed up with the Spotswood Recreation Department and gave out cards, pen pal letters, notes and pictures created by town residents for the seniors.
“Seeing their smiles, hearing their voices and knowing that everyone is safe means everything to us during this difficult time,” she said.
Faulkenberry said a senior center fulfills many roles for seniors but socialization and friendship are probably the biggest ones.
“These visits allow for personal connection that is desperately needed and missing right now. For some, it may be the only kind they get,” Faulkenberry said. “To be honest, however, our motives are selfish. We miss them, period. Anything we can do to see them while remaining safe, we are happy to do.”
For more information about the next caravan tour, visit www.spotswoodboro.com/office-on-aging or call 732-251-0700.
Contact Vashti Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org.