Council on Aging of West Florida makes changes, shuts down adult day care center

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PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — The Retreat, an adult day care center run by Council on Aging of West Florida, will close Wednesday and the non-profit organization is making changes to keep seniors protected from coronavirus.

The Retreat would typically have anywhere between 20 and 40 seniors there but Tuesday it was a mostly empty room with just a few men and women.

“Unfortunately because of what’s happened over the past several weeks, our census dropped down to below five people,” Council of Aging of West Florida CEO John B. Clark said.

Clark said they made the decision to close the adult day care center starting Wednesday until at least May 1 but they are still serving their seniors in need. They handed out hundreds of small bottles of milk Tuesday afternoon that were donated by Manna Food Pantries.

“There has been a tremendous outpouring from people in the community who want to do something to help,” Clark said.

They have seen a lot of people stepping up wanting to volunteer. In Escambia and Santa Rosa County, they have 20 dining areas where seniors typically eat lunch. That food is still being served but now it’s “pick up and go.” They are also practicing social distancing with all seniors.

“We no longer do assessments in the home,” Clark said. “We do them over the telephone as long as we can.”

Florida Governor Ron Desantis spoke Tuesday afternoon about the elderly population and a recommendation made by the surgeon general.

“All individuals age 65 or older are encouraged to stay at home for the next 14 days,” Gov. Desantis said.

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*Maps provided by Alabama, Florida, and Mississippi Departments of Public Health

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