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YMCA gets grant to fund program for seniors with Alzheimer’s and dementia

July 2, 2014  

A grant will help expand a special program for seniors at the Southwest Austin YMCA in Oak Hill.


AUSTIN – The YMCA of Austin received a $5,000 grant from the St. David’s Foundation Health’s Angels. The grant will help fund the existing ‘Senior Retreat’ program at the TownLake YMCA and will help expand the program to the Southwest Family YMCA by the end of 2014.

The YMCA Senior Retreat provides meaningful and healthy activities for seniors with functioning stages of Alzheimer’s and dementia and respite for their caregivers. Seniors participate for two hours, once a week in stimulating and therapeutic activities, such as crafts, singing, light dancing, strength and balance activities, gentle yoga, games and lunch.

The St. David’s Foundation Community Fund created Health’s Angels to address needs of senior citizens in the Austin community. They strive to improve the lives of older adults and their caregivers. The YMCA applied for the grant and was chosen as one of three recipients, including Interfaith Action of Central Texas and H.A.N.D.

During these two hours, caregivers can make connections with other caregivers and YMCA staff, accessing valuable information to help them take care of their loved ones. They also use to time to run errands, exercise or relax.

“Family caregivers are the backbone of our long-term care system,” said Mashariki Cannon, Association Healthy Living Director for the YMCA of Austin. “This grant allows us to continue supporting primary caregiver relationships and improving their emotional well-being and quality of life.”

All classes are taught by YMCA fitness staff, and informal activities are run by community volunteers. The ‘Senior Retreat’ is offered to members and nonmembers of the Y. Through individual community contributions to the YMCA’s Annual Campaign, financial assistance is provided to any family unable to pay the weekly $10 fee. For participant and volunteer information, please contact Mashariki Cannon at 512-542-9622 or email,

Additional Upcoming Senior Events

Brain Power: In partnership with Austin Community College, Occupational Therapy students will use a variety of techniques and memory games to help improve memory. Program is free to the community. July 10-August 7, 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.; Southwest Family YMCA

Senior Potluck: Bring your favorite dish to share and your input and suggestions for Active Older Adult Programming. Event is free to the community. July 15, 2014 from 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.; TownLake YMCA

Life Stories Workshop: Develop the creative tools to reflect on your life events, deepen your own experiences, define and clarify your life story in your own terms, develop and present your story, listen actively and respectfully, give and receive heart-felt feedback. Join your friends and peers in this fun, inspiring and compassionate class designed specifically for our Active Older Adults community. Jul 23, 2014 to Aug 07, 2014, 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Only $20 for 7-week class; TownLake YMCA

About the YMCA of Austin

The YMCA of Austin is a nonprofit organization that has served the Austin community since 1953, providing health and wellness, aquatics, youth sports, day camp, childcare, youth leadership and family enrichment opportunities for more than 64,000 members and 60,000 program participants. More information on the YMCA of Austin is available at




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