Senior Friendship Centers has begun the process of expanding our open programs and services slowly and carefully in compliance with state, county and local guidelines concerning COVID-19. As we move forward in a new landscape of social distancing, our first priority is YOU – our members, volunteers, clients and staff.

The plan outlined below is contingent on our ability to keep our community safe. All plans will be re-evaluated on a weekly basis, and adjustments will be made based on the latest information.

Health Services
Our medical clinics will continue providing telehealth for patients, using a small group of volunteer providers. These calls have been successful for patient follow up, prescription refills, and physician “visits.” The medical and dental clinics will reopen for in-person visits on July 6.

Activity Centers
The Activity Centers in Sarasota and Venice will be open at 25% capacity.

Hours of Operation:
Sarasota and Venice
M-F:  9 am – 3 pm

Members, volunteers and employees must enter through the front door of the Activity Center, where they will have their temperature taken, answer health/travel screening questions, and sign a health affidavit. The bistros will be open and music will be played over the loudspeakers. Classes may be conducted while adhering to social distancing guidelines. There will be no dancing, exercise/balance classes, or bridge/cards. LGBTQ virtual support groups will continue as they have been offered for the past 8 weeks. Cleaning will be done throughout the day in high touch areas and tape will be used on the floor to mark social distancing recommendations. We are asking staff and clients to provide their own masks to be worn while in the Activity Centers; a back-up supply will be maintained as long as available to SFC.

Adult Day Services
The Adult Day Services will offer virtual engagement with clients to include group chats and other Zoom-based activities to further help homebound family caregivers by providing meaningful peer interaction for those with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. The Caregiver Resource Center will continue offering virtual support groups and other programming via Zoom and conference calls. Clients have begun to return to The Living Room in limited numbers.

For social dining clients who remain homebound, home delivered meals will continue to be provided. Social dining sites will reopen on June 22. Senior Friendship Centers has delivered more than 115,000 meals to homebound seniors in 2020, a 454% increase.

To sign up for home delivered meals, call our hotline below.

Sarasota- (941) 556-3208
Desoto/Charlotte- (941) 255-0723
Lee- (239) 236-8684

Friendship at Home
All EHEAP, Season of Sharing, and Friendship at Home appointments will be conducted by phone, with no in-person appointments available. To contact Friendship at Home, call (941) 955-2122.

Other Programs and Services
The programs and services that have been operating during the pandemic will continue. This includes case management, produce and supply distribution, telephone reassurance, and online support groups.

During this challenging time, our seniors need us more than ever. Being isolated and lonely causes people to withdraw and experience increased health issues and depression. With an abundance of caution, we will begin to open our programs slowly and carefully so that we can continue to provide a safety net for older adults. Our first and foremost goal will be to keep our valued members, staff and volunteers safe.

Policies and Procedures
If you have any illness of any kind, or are exhibiting any symptoms, please stay home.
Health/travel screening and temperature check will be conducted on everyone who enters the building.
Social distancing of 6 feet will be maintained in the Activity Centers.
Clients and staff are asked to provide their own masks, which must be worn at all times in the center. A limited number of masks will be provided upon request.
All employees and volunteers will participate in an orientation that provides safety protocols as well as education about serving our population during times like these.

We look forward to seeing you soon!