United Senior Services (USS) held their first-ever virtual class as a result of the extended closure of its center due to the coronavirus.
The Aging Mastery Program , which is through the National Council on Aging, was held online every Tuesday from April 28 to May 26.
“While we have been apart, United Senior Services staff have been working to bring us back together,” said Stephanie McCuistion, USS spokesperson. “Nothing can replace being together at our centers, but thanks to our friends at Shiftology, and the most popular invention of the quarantine, Zoom, our first online opportunity for members to interact with one another launched.”
The mastery program covered information needed to age well, including health behaviors and financial wellness.
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“I learned about a lot of different things,” said Marsha LeValley, who has been a member for about three years. “How important exercise is, how important it is to budget your finances and set goals.”
LeValley said this was her first time participating in an online class.
“It was a lot of fun. I got to see a lot of faces and it was like being in a classroom, but all of my classmates were on my computer,” she said. “It was a lot of discussing your life choices. As you get older, there’s things you need to get in line in case you get sick. That program helps direct you in that route.”
Although LeValley enjoyed the online class, she said she still misses the social aspect of going to the center.
“The social aspect has been a big void in my life since they’ve been closed,” she said. “A lot of us miss going to the center downtown.”
McCuistion said even though some members seemed reserved about participating in the virtual class, they ended up liking it.
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“Those that have participated this spring have not only enjoyed the interactions, they also learned skills AMP provides about aging well, and can now consider themselves on trend as virtual programming and communication become the norm for many of us,” she said.
Along with this online class, USS continues to provide many essential services and stay connected with its members.
“We have continued to reach out to stay in touch with clients and members on a regular basis by a monthly print magazine called Center Page, regular emails, Facebook Q and A, telephone, and recently added virtually for those who can with Zoom,” McCuistion said.
USS is also working to add another AMP this summer and more virtual classes such as fitness, recreation and education.
“USS remains committed to finding way to stay connected to older people and helping them stay connected to each other,” said Marueen Fagans, CEO.