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Press Release

Release Date: June 14, 2021
by Chickasaw Nation Media Relations Office

The Chickasaw Nation places a high priority on serving its honored elders. Considered “living treasures” who helped build a strong foundation on which the Chickasaw Nation’s success was built, the Chickasaw Nation strives to offer many programs and opportunities specifically for elders, such as Chickasaw Nation Senior Centers.

Chickasaw Nation Senior Centers, located in 12 communities, are now open for in person visits.

“We are excited to be opening the senior centers back up,” Stacy Wesberry, director for senior centers and information said. “We missed our elders and we know they missed each other and the staff.”

The Chickasaw Nation has been working diligently on plans to reopen its senior centers, with the health and well-being of First American elders and staff being the No. 1 priority.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends all front-line workers receive COVID-19 vaccinations. The Chickasaw Nation’s plan to open safely includes fully vaccinated elders and staff entering the Chickasaw Nation Senior Centers.

For those fully vaccinated, congregate meals will be served from noon until 1 p.m., beginning Monday, June 14. Senior centers are open from 11:30 a.m. until 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

“Vaccinations are 100% important for the safety of everyone attending the centers. I believe vaccinations have helped to curb the number of people currently catching the virus,” Wesberry said.

To ensure a safe environment for all, unvaccinated individuals will not be able to enter the senior sites. Curbside meals will continue to be served at all senior sites. Curbside meals will be served 10:30 until 11 a.m. Elders will only pick up for themselves and their spouse.

While many of the in person services offered out of senior centers were on hiatus due to COVID-19, curbside lunches were offered to qualified First American elders age 60 and older. During the pandemic, more than 121,000 meals were distributed at the senior centers.

Additionally, more than 1,200 vaccines were distributed at senior centers for Chickasaw elders who may not have otherwise had the ability to be vaccinated.

About the Chickasaw Nation Senior Centers

Chickasaw Nation Senior Centers serve as a central location for senior services for Chickasaw and First American elders. The senior centers program provides congregate breakfasts, lunches and homebound lunches to qualified First Americans. The senior centers also provide health monitoring, social activities, cultural classes, speakers, elder wellness programs and group activities.

The sites offer exercise classes, and health screenings, such as diabetes testing and biometric screening.

In addition, the senior centers offer art workshops. Completed artworks have the opportunity to be exhibited during the year. Projects have included ceramics, painting, drawing, mosaics, glass painting and basket weaving.

Senior sites allow a place for Chickasaw elders to gather to share cultural experiences.

Locations of the senior sites include Ada, Ardmore, Connerville, Duncan, Kullihoma, Madill, Oklahoma City, Panola (Colbert), Pauls Valley, Purcell, Sulphur and Tishomingo.

For more information about the Chickasaw Nation Senior Centers and eligibility requirements, call the Chickasaw Nation Aging Division at (580) 795-9790.