Senior Scene: From the Office: Seniors should stay home, stay safe during pandemic

Normally we use this column to inform you about upcoming events or seasonal services for older adults. But we are not in normal times. This pandemic has us operating essential services with minimal staffing. It will take us longer than usual as we try to meet everyone’s needs, so please be patient with us.

There are some individuals who do not think we are at risk, others who think maybe we are, but probably “not me or anyone I know will get it” — but make no mistake about it; this virus is real, it is out there and it is deadly.

During these next several weeks, it will be of utmost importance for you to socially distance yourself from others. Although it may be challenging, it is necessary. The only job you have is to keep yourself as isolated as possible. I know that isn’t normal for most of us, but it is the best way for us to be safe.

Make sure to wash your hands and sanitize surfaces. If you do have anyone stop by, ask them to stay outside; at least 6 feet away. There are many ways to stay connected to your friends and family; call each other often or, if you know how, video chat using your smartphone; write letters; send pictures.

To pass the time you can work on that project that is waiting on the shelf: read a book, put together a puzzle, listen to your favorite music, dance, meditate or pray.

If you are finding yourself in need of something, reach out to your family and friends. Figure out how whatever it is will be paid for and let them get it for you. Plan on a “safe” drop, where you can leave funds to reimburse them and where they can leave your items. If you don’t have anyone to help during this time, please call and let us know. We will do our very best with our growing army of volunteers to see if we can meet your need.

If you are feeling lonely and sad, we are here to talk with you. Many of us are feeling the same way and are happy to hear from you. We are all in this together, at a distance, yet united.

I apologize for yet another piece of information regarding COVID-19, but this is so important for us, right now. Please call us. The office number is 518-295-2001. We are here to assist you. I don’t want anyone to become a statistic.


Nancy Dingee is director of the Schoharie County Office for the Aging. ‘Senior Scene’ columns can be found at

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