Butler Senior Center resumes indoor dining, recreation for older adults

The Butler Senior Center has resumed indoor dining and recreation after more than a year of closure because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The center at 611 W. Mill St. welcomes adults 60 and older to dine indoors without masks, according to Butler Senior Center Coordinator Nancy Rich. It’s open from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Lunch is served from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  The meals are provided for people 60 and older for a suggested contribution of $4.50. Updated menus include some new items such as chicken Margherita, garlic and herb shrimp, and penne primavera as well as traditional favorites such as meatloaf and fried chicken. Call (660) 679-5830 or visit goaging.org to get a current menu.  

Transportation is available by calling BaCo Transport by 660-679-6322.

The center still offers curbside pickup of meals for those who are not ready to dine in. To receive a curbside meal, please call the center before 9 a.m. the day of pickup or anytime the day before.   The center also delivers meals some 200 meals weekly to homebound older adults. Ms. Rich is recruiting volunteers to deliver meals and help in the kitchen and dining room.  

Rich said she’s working to provide a friendly, hospitable environment where people are greeted with a smile, and the opportunity to make new friends, to become active and to have good volunteer opportunities.

The full opening followed a soft opening to test safety protocols; the resumption of indoor dining has been well received.

 “I am ecstatic because I get to hear seniors being active in the center again. I get to see them, I get to interact with them, and they get to interact with each other in their center,” Rich said. “The atmosphere is very joyous.”

The center will host daily Rummikub and card games after lunch and bingo at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesdays. July 16 will feature backyard barbecue-themed bingo at 10:30 a.m. and a trivia game at noon.  On July 21, the center will introduce a locally-made “Chasing Away COVID-19” game at 12:30 p.m. Bingo will be “all things Italian” (beginning at 10:30 a.m.) to go along with an Italian meal to be served at 11:30 a.m. on July 22.

Care Manager Artricia Lowry will be available at the center by appointment. Lowry can connect older adults with benefits and answer a variety of questions on topics ranging from Medicare and property tax rebates to housing and family caregiving. To make an appointment, call 417-279-5138.

Center guests will notice fewer tables than before and a request for social distancing when they are getting their meals. While the mandatory use of masks and temperature taking have been halted, visitors, staff and volunteers still will be requested to answer health questions about COVID-19 exposure or symptoms.

Staff and volunteers will be required to wear masks while clients are in the building. Home-delivered meal drivers will be required to wear masks, sanitize hands between clients, and stay socially distanced during the delivery of meals.

The Butler Senior Center is one of 21 locations operated by Care Connection for Aging Services in 13 West Central Missouri counties: Bates, Benton, Carroll, Cedar, Chariton, Henry, Hickory, Johnson, Lafayette, Pettis, Saline, St. Clair, and Vernon. The mission is to provide opportunities to create positive aging experiences. For more information, visit www.goaging.org or call 1-800-748-7826.