SPOTSWOOD, NJ - While everyone is feeling the impact from the seemingly never ending coronavirus stay-at-home order, seniors have been hit the hardest as the age bracket most vulnerable to COVID-19. Spotswood Office on Aging Program Coordinator Donna Faulkenberry and her staff have been working hard to ensure borough seniors are not forgotten during this difficult time.

"Regardless of what age a person is, human beings need social contact to be happy," Faulkenberry said. "Groups like the Spotswood PTA, Spotswood REC and other organizations are hosting activities to provide a sense of community that is missing during this time of social distancing."

While the Spotswood Office on Aging has been closed, Faulkenberry and the staff have been posting daily updates and information on Facebook along with sending out emails. They have been organizing virtual trips, tours and putting up free streaming links for area seniors to help pass the time. 

Sign Up for Milltown/Spotswood Newsletter
Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

"Al Sykes, our yoga instructor, has graciously sent us yoga workouts twice a week that we post on Tuesdays and Thursdays, the same days our yoga classes are held," Faulkenberry explained. "We make daily welfare calls and this month we mailed a fun calendar and message to our active members, so we could also reach those who aren't on the computer."

On top of all that, the Office on Aging has been organizing caravan tours around the borough. The first caravan at the end of March was such a hit, last week Faulkenberry and her staff went on a two part tour to reach out to Spotswood's seniors stuck at home.

 "We schedule the caravan trips, so we can see and speak with our friends, even if from a distance," Faulkenberry said. "In this last caravan, we delivered cards, notes, pen pal letters and pictures created by caring residents through the Spotswood REC Community Connection Campaign and the seniors were so happy to receive them. The OOA Caravan is just another way to connect."

"The senior center is a place that our senior residents can go to socialize and learn at a time in their lives when these opportunities diminish," Faulkenberry continued. "While we are forced to socially distance, we need to be creative and think of ways to bring that to our members to help them get through this."
The smiles on the faces of the seniors along the caravan tour were bright and welcoming.

"The smiles are wonderful," Faulkenberry added. "While nothing we do right now can substitute for seeing them every day, the feedback has been incredibly positive. If the feeling my coworkers and I get is any indication, I would say it's making things a little better. I sure hope so!"