WARWICK, RI — Pilgrim Senior Center will begin virtual classes starting Sept. 8 for seniors, vulnerable to COVID-19 and unable to attend in-person services traditionally provided by the city’s senior services.
Mayor Joseph J. Solomon also noted, thanks to a partnership with URI’s Cyber Senior Program, seniors can schedule one-on-one telephone appointments for assistance with any technology questions, including Zoom. Those appointments can be booked by calling Senior Center Program Manager Kathleen Bohl at (401) 468-4074.
Virtual Senior Programs
Blue Cross/Blue Shield is sponsoring two virtual exercise classes, Yoga- Gentle/Vinyassa Flow and Low-Impact Aerobics, through the center. Classes will also include the “Poetry Readers” group, Yarnigans, the Pilgrim Theater Stars, and ‘Knit Wits,’” the Mayor said.
Seniors who wish to participate can register for the Warwick Senior Center classes online, where they will be asked to fill out a waiver form, according to the Mayor’s office. Once the submission is complete, participants will be registered for their selected classes going forward on a weekly basis, and will receive an e-mail containing a Zoom link that can be used weekly to join the class. Those who do not have computer video chat capabilities are still welcome to participate via telephone and will be given the call-in information after registering.
Those registered for classes can also take part in a 10-minute introduction just before the scheduled class time in order to ask questions, say hello to other students, and get acquainted with the virtual class platform.
“We all know how trying the COVID-19 pandemic has been on all of us, but particularly our seniors, many of whom have been isolated from, or have had extremely limited personal contact with, their family and friends as they follow health safety guidelines,” Solomon said. “With social distancing protocols still in place as we head into the fall, it’s even more important to offer our seniors additional ways to connect with their friends at the Center. I’d like to thank the volunteer instructors and Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Rhode Island, who are making it possible to offer these classes free of charge to participants. Our partnership with URI will also help seniors who may be a bit intimidated by technology to feel comfortable taking part in these virtual classes,” he said.
Solomon noted other services have been and continue to be available for seniors since the pandemic forced the closure of the Center. A “grab-and-go” lunch program has been offered on weekdays, and meals have been delivered on a regular basis to seniors who are homebound or otherwise unable to pick up their lunches. Wellness calls are being made daily throughout the week, and the community nurse and center staff have been available to answer questions or provide assistance via phone or email to seniors.
“I’m so pleased that we are able to offer these classes to our seniors, who have missed taking part in many activities since the pandemic struck,” the Mayor said. “Going forward, we’ll be examining other opportunities to ensure that our seniors can stay active and connected with each other during these extraordinary circumstances.”