Soldotna Senior Center

Courtesy Kathy Romain, Kenai Senior Center

Local senior centers are starting to open back up after over a year without in-person meals and activities. And they’re seeing a lot of new faces.

“One thing that COVID did bring out is that there are people in our community that need help," said Kathy Romain, director of the Kenai Senior Center. “There are people in our community we didn't reach. And COVID brought a lot of those folks out.”

Courtesy Soldotna Chamber of Commerce

The Alaska Commission on Aging is meeting in person around the Kenai Peninsula next week. 

“Our main focus is really taking a look at issues that impact the lives of seniors in Alaska," said Lisa Morley, the commission’s executive director.

Courtesy Kathy Romain, Kenai Senior Center

The Kenai and Soldotna senior centers are putting the pedal to metal for their Meals on Wheels programs. Both have at least doubled their home-delivered meals to residents, while centers remain closed to in-person meals and gatherings.

The centers are also using calls and wellness checks to get in touch with local seniors. Neither center has set a date for reopening yet.

Courtesy Soldotna Chamber of Commerce

Alaska seniors and their families, caregivers and service providers have a chance today to let the state know about issues affecting older Alaskans.

The Alaska Commission on Aging is holding a rural outreach meeting in Nome, but along with that, there’s a listening session held by teleconference from 10 a.m. to 1:15 pm today to hear from all over the state.

On the Kenai Peninsula, the Soldotna Senior Center is set up as a teleconference site.

“We’ve got a teleconference set up that we’ll hook up in our game room and anybody that wishes to listen in or speak should be able to through that teleconference line. Topics possible to be discussed are along-t support services, senior housing, elder protection, financial security, healthy aging and identifying community strengths and challenges,” said John Walker, director of the senior center.