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 (UWGN) 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.

The Senior Centre is a program of The Dale Association which 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 emphasis on socialization and 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.

According to a recent study by AARP, social isolation can have worse health outcomes on an individual than smoking cigarettes. 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, while also providing a gathering place for socialization to meet the unique needs of adults.

Here are some compelling stories that illustrate the positive impact of the Senior Centre on individuals here in Niagara County:

• Stacey retired last year, after teaching school for many years, where she felt good about making a difference each day. One of the first things she did after retirement was become a member of The Dale Association. Stacey takes yoga, intergenerational programs and a sewing class. She especially likes the sewing class because the class donates their projects to area nursing homes and the veteran’s hospital, and that makes her feel like she is supporting a worthwhile cause. She thanks The Dale Association for being there for her and helping her to be the best she can be – feeling a sense of purpose and maintaining her wellness.

• After Tony suffered from a stroke, his doctor and wife suggested the Senior Centre’s Memory Minders, a program to stimulate and strengthen his brain. Memory Minders has allowed him regain happiness and achieve real progress - so much so that he’s back to driving himself again after two months of feeling confined and dependent.

• As a result of being struck by a car, Sue has a severe back injury. Her significant pain management problems and limited mobility make it difficult to lift, bend and walk. Sue became homebound. The pain and isolation she endured were understandably very discouraging for Sue, ultimately causing depression. In an effort to get out of her home more, Sue decided to participate in The Dale Association’s programs. This has allowed her to participate in activities that are suited to her limited mobility, as well as give her the social interaction she has been denied. These small, but positive, accomplishments have allowed her to be productive and increased socialization has improved her outlook on life and introduced her to new friends with similar limitations. Being able to be productive enabled her to cope with the loss of other skills and abilities, significantly improving her outlook on her life and her future.

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 combined 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 433-1886 or visit daleassociation.com.

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