They Were There

Published by Kristin Rahn-Tiemeyer on

They Were There

The COVID-19 pandemic affected everything we do at UMCH, but it undoubtedly had the most drastic impact on our older adult clients. Many have participated in UMCH programs for years and the center has become like a second home.

Geneva remembers that feeling well. “It just felt pleasant. We’d come here, they’d have coffee for us every morning and breakfast,” she recalls. “It was homely. Made you feel welcome. People felt more at home here than anywhere else, I think.”

Geneva told us that finding UMCH two years ago felt like finding a purpose. She had somewhere to go every day where she could be active, connect with friends, and not feel lonely.

So when we had to close our facility and switch to remote programming for months, Geneva and her peers felt that loss in a big way. But she said the sense of community stayed with them.

“If you needed to go different places, they would take you shopping or to doctor’s appointments. They would help you do things so you weren’t just sitting at home not doing anything,” she remembers. “Everybody was trying to help everybody.”

After months of remote programming, we’ve been able to safely host some programs in person again like outdoor walking club and bingo. Geneva said returning to the center felt like coming home to be with her family.

But still, she’s eager to spend her days here again—sipping coffee, enjoying healthy meals with friends, staying active, having fun.

Even though daily life feels different for now, having this second home and second family means a lot to her.  She described her favorite thing about UMCH quite simply:

“All I did was ask,” she said. “And they were there.”

Categories: Older Adults