Philly Parks and Recreation now offers safe online activities to keep seniors engaged

By KYW Newsradio

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — There's a new initiative to help make sure older Philadelphians can still interact with each other and take part in extracurricular activities, all while social distancing.

Individual and group counseling, as well as a book club, are just a few of the virtual programs Philadelphia Parks and Recreation is now offering for seniors.

"There's arts and crafts, painting classes, line dancing, Zumba, tai chi, yoga and chair exercises," said Barbara Gillette, director of older adult services. She said it's crucial they continue these free programs.

"They suffer from isolation and loneliness and depression. It's important to us that we continue to reach put to those seniors, and we're glad that we're able to do that," said Gillette.

She added they are taking a multifaceted approach with how they interact with participants.

"For those seniors who are not computer-savvy, and we're working with them on that, we also have the ability for them to reach out to us through conference calls."

In addition to these programs, Parks and Rec also offers free grab-and-go meals for seniors at select locations.