senior citizens

This story was powered by America Amplified, a public radio initiative.

Americans have faced world wars, economic recessions, and even other pandemics. Some people have lived through all three. I sought out senior citizens to see how the COVID-19 pandemic compares to other crises – and what we might be able to learn from them.

Catherine Wheeler

Every year, the city of Gillette and the Gillette News Record team up to host a city holiday lights contest. People can nominate themselves, friends or neighbors. Then, seniors from the Campbell County Senior Center go out and judge the decked-out homes. Wyoming Public Radio's Catherine Wheeler followed along on judging night.

Darrah Perez

Two-days before Christmas, 400 holiday baskets filled with turkey, cranberry, stuffing, and pie were given to elders on the Wind River Reservation.

The snow falling on the Wind River Reservation did not stop a group of community members from delivering the holiday baskets. Stephen Fasthorse helped organize the event with the help of community members, the Wind River Casino and the Northern Arapaho Tribe.

“Embracing the Elders is a grassroots group that wanted to find a way to show appreciation for the elderly people on the Wind River Reservation,” Fasthorse said.

Maggie Mullen

Like many federal programs across the country, Meals on Wheels is facing possible cuts as part of President Donald Trump’s proposed budget. The program’s Wyoming partners have already experienced cuts at the state level due to the energy downturn, and it’s hard to know when the federal budget will be decided on. In the meantime, many homebound seniors and Wyomingites with disabilities that depend on the program are concerned about the future of their care.