Note from the Editor: This is the first in a series called "Wethersfield Heroes," where our students work to highlight and honor those in our community going above and beyond amidst the tumultuous year. If you know someone that you would like to nominate as a Wethersfield Hero, please contact Mr. Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
by: Charles Hayes
Amy Miller, a Wethersfield native, knows about working with the senior population, because she has for over 20 years in Nursing Homes and Assisted Living. Amy worked with many veterans who fought in the Korean War and WWII, and knew many Holocaust survivors.
She loved hearing their stories, all of which were “full of bravery, courage and heartbreak.” In April of 2019, a position opened up at the Wethersfield Senior Center and Miller jumped on the opportunity because she knew this is where she wanted to be.
When Amy came to Wethersfield two years ago, she and the rest of the world would never realize that everything would come to a stop as the pandemic started.
As you can imagine, it was very difficult for families to stay home with their children but for most elderly there were so many other restrictions that came along with that. What would they do to get their groceries or go to the pharmacy for medication?
Most of the senior population come to the senior center for the interaction and exercise, and it was all taken away from them. For Miller, it happened so quickly as the senior center was the first building to close due to the age group they serve because they are the most vulnerable. She mentions, “I was glad our town was looking out for the safety of our seniors.”
Throughout the pandemic, there was an overwhelming amount of volunteers that stepped up to help the senior population. The Wethersfield community as a whole helped out with phone calls and wellness checks, asking if they needed anything like services, information, food, or just someone to talk to. They even sent them cards over the holidays to let these isolated seniors that Wethersfield was thinking of them.
Miller, in her work, implemented remote programs and enjoyed “Grab’n Go” programs where the seniors could drive up and receive a goody bag. Also, they had a a state-wide virtual holiday bash in collaboration with the Connecticut Assoc. of Senior Center Personnel, the AARP, CT Healthy Living Collective, North Central Area on Aging.
But out of all of the programs Amy and her team had done, she said the most rewarding was the collaboration with the Central Connecticut Health District to hold a COVID vaccination clinics for our seniors and most vulnerable Wethersfield residents. Because many of the seniors did not have access to computers, could not travel or wait in long lines; they were able to reach out to over 450 residents to get their vaccinations. How amazing is that?
She said she is most proud of “coordinating with my coworkers, making phone calls and helping at the clinics, seeing our seniors in person has been wonderful, and hopefully putting us one more step closer to safely reopening our doors.”
A huge thank you to Amy Miller and her staff for helping our seniors everyday but navigating through this pandemic. You are true Wethersfield heroes.
Written, edited, and produced by Wethersfield High School students, covering all news and events.