Safe Haven for Seniors
"I enjoy it and it's my second home," said Griggs.
Griggs usually tries to avoid the cold weather.
"It kept me home for three days. Kept me home Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday."
But the weekly pool tournament brought him out and about. The Columbia Senior Center offers a warm place to meet, greet, and eat. The center serves hot food and drinks to patrons trying to keep warm and a place to gather for seniors to check up on their neighbors. One Senior Center employee said the center took every precaution to keep its patrons safe.
"Well, the first thing we try to do, mainly, is get all the parking lot and the sidewalks, you know, cleaned for them. So they don't have a problem getting in and out," said Darlene Richardson, a Senior Center employee.
Cold weather effects everyone, but seniors are especially vulnerable. Rising heat costs often tempt the elderly to dial down their thermostats, but low temperatures at home can mean dangerous consequences. Hypothermia can cause a variety of symptoms, including fatigue, numbness, poor coordination, disorientation, decreased heart rate, and even death.
The cold weather may bring health risks, but the winter weather hasn't kept seniors away from the center. Although the center offers a warm haven during the winter, seniors said they'll keep coming no matter the weather. The Columbia Senior Center welcomes all area seniors on weekdays from nine until four and Sundays for lunch.