EDITOR’S NOTE: The Lockport Journal is once again partnering with the United Way of Greater Niagara to showcase local groups receiving support from the United Way.

Ever since the Dale Association was founded in 1951 by a group of dedicated community volunteers, our organization has maintained a long history of service to adults in Niagara County. The Dale provides a wide range of supportive services for older adults, as well as mental health counseling and caregiver support services. The United Way of Greater Niagara has been an important part of The Dale since 1962. Funding from UWGN supports health and wellness programs and services for our community’s older adults, which are provided at our Senior Centre in Lockport.

People want and have different needs when it comes to their health and wellness. The Dale Association helps older adults achieve safe and healthy lifestyles through services that encourage healthy aging, independence, and safe integration in the community. The focus of all activities is the prevention of health problems that can jeopardize independence and quality of life. Individuals who maintain an active lifestyle are healthier than those who become socially isolated.

The Dale Association’s Senior Centre is a “one stop shop” for senior focused wellness activities and education, exercise and screenings. Because of UWGN’s financial support each year, we can provide wellness programs that promote healthy aging and the prevention of health problems that jeopardize quality of life. Senior Centre activities encourage a healthy lifestyle through nutrition and wellness education; health screenings; fitness; and supportive services for the elderly. Additionally, services are available for individuals with specific needs such as vision and or hearing impairment support, dementia support, and caregiver support.

During 2020, The Dale Association’s building closed temporarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however supportive services for the community’s members were maintained through telephone and telehealth services. A lifeline of sorts were the daily calls made to seniors who were homebound during the pandemic. Participants in Memory Minders received activity packets in the mail and follow-up phone calls were made to caregivers and care recipients to maintain the level of support families came to rely on. Early on during the pandemic, personal protective equipment such as masks were in short supply – The Dale Association distributed hundreds of masks to individuals who did not have access to them otherwise. And, food and essential toiletries like toilet paper were collected and distributed to members and clients who were homebound and unable to get needed supplies. All services were provided in a safe and socially distanced manner in order to maintain connectivity to those who were isolated due to the pandemic.

The Dale Association’s facility is back open and providing in-person services that promote healthy aging and the prevention of health problems that jeopardize quality of life. All in-person activities are at a reduced capacity, socially distanced, and adhere to all pandemic safety protocols including health screenings to enter and face masks. For individuals who prefer to receive remote support, telephone and telehealth services are still provided.

Because of the critical support provided each year by United Way of Greater Niagara, the Dale Association’s Senior Centre is able to continue serving as a “one-stop shop” for seniors throughout our region, offering them a spectrum of wellness activities and education, exercise , screenings, social opportunities and other supportive services. The focus of all these services aids in the prevention of health problems that can jeopardize independence and quality of life of our area’s eldest residents.

Maureen Wendt is the president & CEO of The Dale Association. To learn more about The Dale Association, please call (716) 433-1886 or visit daleassociation.com.

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