Senior activity centers close amongst COVID-19 concerns, asking for donations


SMYRNA, Tenn. (WKRN) – As COVID-19 concerns grow, senior activity centers are shutting their doors in an effort to halt the spread.

With no place to go for social interaction and fun, seniors are left feeling a bit stuck.

“They’re going to miss the daily routine they have here many of our members look at this center as their social contact for the week it’s their home away from home and they’re each other’s family​,” said ​ Fran Dunne, Executive Director Smyrna Senior Activity Center​​

On Monday, the Smyrna Senior Activity Center closed for at least two weeks. In the meantime, they will undergo a deep and thorough cleaning. The closure impacts more than 250 seniors.

“Some of them are very independent and they’re going to be able to take care of themselves others I fear are not prepared,” Dunne said. “They don’t have the groceries that they need to get through this time of isolation and social distancing and so it’s like I think it’s a really good time for the community to reach out to them.”

Dunne says handmade cards would be a great way to put a smile on a senior’s face. In addition, Dunne is asking for toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and board games be dropped off for the seniors. She added that the center would be sanitizing the items prior to delivery.

Smyrna Senior Activity Center isn’t the only senior center closing. Fifty Forward has cancelled all activities at all seven locations.

In addition, Mount Juliet Senior Center is closed. They provided News 2 with this statement:

“Starting today [Friday] and all next week we have decided to close the Center for the safety of our members. The Mayor of Lebanon announced yesterday they were closing their Center for the health and well-being of their seniors. We have several members that belong to both Centers and attendance has been poor due to increased media coverage the last few days. The Meals-On-Wheels program will continue to run as scheduled, so seniors will have their meals even though the Center is closed.”

You can call the Smyrna Senior Activity Center at 615-459-4839.

On Monday, the Council on Aging of Middle Tennessee announced their team would begin working remotely due to the current health situation. They are still available to assist older adults and caregivers in Middle Tennessee by phone or e-mail. Call 615-353-4235 or e-mail

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