Life Starts Getting Back to Normal for South Valley Seniors


Last updated 5/1/2021 at 12:48pm | View PDF

The residents at Quail Park at Shannon Ranch in Visalia have a lot to catch up on now that things are getting back to normal.

With COVID-19 vaccines now readily available in Tulare and Kings counties, and most seniors in the two counties having been vaccinated, life is slowly getting back to normal in the South Valley.

COVID-19 is still causing many events for local seniors to be cancelled or postponed, but things are starting to change.

Senior Resource Expo

After the cancellation of last year's event, the 2021 Senior Resource Expo will be held at Tulare Community Church, 1820 N. Gem St., Tulare, from 8:30 a.m. to noon on May 22. (See article on page 1.)

Visalia Rawhide Baseball

The Visalia Rawhide, the reigning California League champions, will play a full baseball schedule in 2021. For more information, including the complete season schedule and COVID-19 regulations at the ballpark, visit

Visalia Players

And while we are sharing good news (even if it's not about things exclusive to seniors), the Visalia Players have announced the first show in their 2021 season, a cabaret featuring a wide range of song and dance, including numbers from "Wicked," "Chicago," "Shrek" and "Mean Girls." For reservations or more information, visit

Visalia Senior Games

More than 500 athletes 50 and older competed in 13 events at the 2019 Visalia Senior Games. An even bigger turnout was expected for the following games, which were originally scheduled for two weekends in March 2020, but postponed.

Unfortunately, there is no good news to report at this time about the status of the 2021 Senior Games. Possible dates need to be approved and "we haven't made any proposals yet," said Laurissa Roggencamp, recreation director for the Visalia Department of Parks and Recreation.

Senior Day in the Park

This annual event at Mooney Grove Park in Visalia for seniors, their families and caregivers, will probably be cancelled for 2021, according to Albert Cendejas, assistant director at CSET.

"There are safety and health concerns, not just for seniors but also for staff," he explained.

However, Cendejas didn't completely rule out the possibility that the event, which combines entertainment, food and informational booths, could be held late this year, "if we have an opprtunity where the numbers (of COVID-19 cases and vaccines) look good and the stars align."

Visalia Senior Center

The Visalia Senior Center's drive-thru lunch is expected to continue. Lunches are available for pick-up/to-go Monday-Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Meals are $4.50 for Visalia seniors (55+) and must be reserved by 12:30 p.m. the previous business day.

Menus are online at and on the Visalia Parks and Recreation Facebook page. To reserve a lunch or for more information, call (559) 713-4481.

Tulare Senior Center

"Even though the county has entered a new tier, the Tulare City Council is being cautious with our reopening," said Karie Rodriguez, City of Tulare senior administrative assistant. "We are hoping to begin youth recreation mid-June and hopefully senior recreation will follow shortly thereafter, however, no date has been set."

Seniors with reservations can still drive up to pick up a meal for a $3 donation, Monday through Friday, 11:30 a.m. to noon.

The center is still delivering lunches to the homes of seniors who used bus or dial-a-ride transportation, and frozen meals to Meals on Wheels clients.

For program updates, call (559) 685-2330.

Alzheimer's Association

The local Alzheimer's Association chapter continues to offer educational programs and support for caregivers online.

For a complete schedule, visit and scroll down to Events. The Educational Programs link leads to online events and activities.

Flu Season

Another bit of good news is that the recent flu season was "very, very minimal," according to Carrie Monteiro, Tulare County Health & Human Services Agency public information officer. "We saw very limited flu cases, mainly because of the precautions in place for COVID-19."

The Lifestyle Center

The Lifestyle Center, a medically-based fitness and rehabilitation facility and a division of Kaweah Delta Health Care District, reopened on March 17.

Hours have been temporarily modified during this time to: 4:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Friday; and 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends.

ImagineU Museum

"We are preparing to open on May 1," announced Katy Young, ImagineU Museum's executive director. "We will also have a ribbon-cutting on May 14."

Mary Ann Hensley, Betty Yates, David Noel and Nadine Reindl celebrate their vaccinations at Sierra Hills in Porterville.

Before the pandemic, the museum launched its grandparent membership program. For more information, visit

Sierra Hills

Sierra Hills, a Holiday Senior Living Community in Porterville announced that, "We are over 80% vaccinated as a community."

"This, along with the change to the color tier system in Tulare County, has allowed Sierra Hills to move closer to pre-COVID activities," reported Robin Martin, community sales leader. "Family and friends are welcome to come visit without an appointment, our dining room has been expanded to seat 80 people with our normal dining services, and full activities resume to include live entertainment."


With other senior communities enjoying similar progress, maybe life really is getting back to normal in the South Valley.


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