LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Throughout the pandemic, many seniors have been stuck in their homes and stripped of any social activities. But that changed Tuesday for seniors like Deede McLaughlin.
"Smiles were on everybody's face it was wonderful,” said McLaughlin, “We’ve missed each other a lot … I don't have to look at four walls anymore!"
McLaughlin has been coming to the recreation center for more than five years, three or four times a week, she said. But when the pandemic hit and they had to close, the 82-year-old, who lives alone, had to sacrifice her active social life altogether.
"It was lonely, very lonely. I took a couple of bad days, where I just, I felt like the house was coming in on me. And uh ... I needed this place. I really needed to talk to friends,” said McLaughlin.
She played Canasta, a multiplayer card game, while others line danced.
"We had to try a new way of playing with our -- the plastic around the tables, and the cards,” said McLaughin.
It may have looked a little different, with plexiglass barriers between the card players, but that didn't stop the card sharks from enjoying a old fashioned belly laughs.
"Somebody took my cards instead of theirs, and played my hand, so I had to play somebody else's hand, and it was -- it was laughter! We just had so much fun, joking around with each other like we did before,” said McLaughlin.
McLaughlin is grateful she got the vaccine, and said it’s important in life, to sometimes just “go with the flow.”
"We know it wasn't our fault, was not the government's fault, it just happened. So we just have to do the best we can with it,” said McLaughlin.
Original story and more information about senior centers continues below.
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Clark County senior centers on Tuesday will be "the first in the Las Vegas Valley to reopen."
Commissioner Michael Naft will hold a ceremony Tuesday morning to welcome community members back to several county senior centers including West Flamingo and Cora Coleman centers.
More than 3 out of 4 seniors at least age 70 have been vaccinated across Clark County, as have 54 percent of those 60-69 year old, according to March 31 data from the Southern Nevada Health District. Those figures are expected to grow, officials said.
Capacity at the centers is limited by state mandate to 50 percent, and registration is required for the centers’ activities.
Seniors may register by phone or by walk-in. The West Flamingo Senior Center may be reached at (702) 455-7742. Cora Coleman may be reached at (702) 455-7617.
The West Flamingo Senior Center is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. It includes a multipurpose room for pickleball and other activities, dance room, game room with ping pong and pool tables, craft room, lending library, card room, meeting room, exercise room and horseshow pits.
Cora Coleman is open Monday through Friday, 7:15 a.m. to 5 p.m. and includes a multipurpose room, fitness room for cardio and strength training, dance room, game room, meeting rooms, swimming pool and lending library for books and DVDs. Games are loaned out for use in the park and bocce ball, cornhole and pickleball are played. The indoor pool will be open Wednesday, April 7 and will have lap swim available Monday, Wednesday and Friday 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Cora Coleman pool reservations can be made online or at the pool front desk. All reservations are on a first-come, first-served basis.