Enriching Programs
for Active People

Circle of Concern

Giving to Circle of Concern allows the Foundation to help provide financial support to qualifying residents who have exhausted their resources through no fault of their own. Older adults are living longer than ever before and even a well thought out financial plan can prove to be inadequate. For example, unforeseen medical expenses not covered by insurance can wreak havoc on an older adult’s financial resources.

Employee Assistance Fund

Gifts to this fund provide emergency financial assistance to employees who, through no fault of their own, are experiencing difficulty in meeting their financial obligations. Causes include medical/dental services not covered by insurance or tragedy in the family. Donations also allow the Foundation to provide grants to staff who wish to further their education or seek additional skills training. 

Mable (photo, center) works in the IT Department. She is also working towards her Bachelor of Applied Science degree in HealthCare Informatics. “The Wesley Education Grant is an answered prayer for me,” she says. After struggling to work and pay for school, the grant has allowed her to take more credits each quarter and be reimbursed for the cost of tuition. Describing herself as “more than grateful” for the career opportunities and educational assistance at Wesley, Mable says, “I can count on the Foundation to make a difference, not only in my life but also in our community.”

Greatest Need Fund

Contributions to Greatest Need enable the Foundation to respond as needs arise and provide funding for special projects and programs. For example, this fund has been used to purchase emergency supplies and evacuation chairs in addition to providing resident programs such as Wesley University, Drum For the Health of It, and Music & Memory

Wesley University

Wesley U offers engaging programs designed to stimulate meaningful learning, interaction and personal growth. The program began at Wesley Des Moines and expanded to our Lea Hill and Bradley Park communities. Wesley Community Foundation ensures that every resident and non-resident has access to the programs free of charge!

At Wesley Bradley Park, Wesley U was developed in conjunction with Pierce College has been a great experience for Pat. She has taken courses on Exploring World Religions, painting, a field trip to the Pierce College Science Dome and a class “she absolutely loved” titled Memories in Literature. “I am extremely grateful that funds from Greatest Need can be used to support such valuable programming that enhances resident lives,” she notes.

Highline Montessori at Wesley

Working with children is always an enjoyable way for Wesley to support the greater community. Through Highline Montessori at Wesley, our collaboration with the Highline School District brings preschoolers to the Wesley Des Moines campus. Children develop foundational skills, experience hands-on learning and acquire collaborative play skills. Funded by the Foundation, residents volunteer to interact with the children and foster intergenerational learning.

Kimberly Kinzer, Executive Director of Teaching, Learning and Leading for Highline Public Schools said, “Many residents’ families say their relatives are happier because children are part of their community center on a daily basis.” Kinzer added that students who have participated in this program prior to starting kindergarten “have exceeded their peers in school readiness.”

Drum For the Health Of It

Drumming promotes feelings of well-being, provides a cardio workout and encourages access to both hemispheres of the brain. That’s why Wesley created “Drum For the Health Of It,” a resident-based drumming group funded by the Foundation. The facilitator provides instruction, demonstration and mentoring for this fun and powerful way to bring individuals together through music. 

“The holistic benefits of group drumming in senior living environments have been well studied and documented,” said Wesley’s Music Therapy Coordinator. “Evidence-based research supports music-making in general and specifically group drumming. Drum circles are an excellent complementary music-based activity in senior living,” she adds.

Music & Memory

Music & Memory® trains elder care professionals on how to set up personalized music playlists, delivered on iPods, for residents and clients in their care. These musical favorites tap deep memories not lost to dementia and can enable participants to feel more like themselves again – to converse, socialize and stay present. Positive mood shifts and more calmness occur, improving meaningful interactions with staff and family. The Foundation is pleased to make this program available. 

When Chaplain Mike placed the headset on a resident, she heard music selected by her family… and she awakened!  Her foot began to tap, her fingers strummed her chair and she smiled. Over the past four years she hadn’t spoken and had no eye, foot or hand movement, so what he witnessed was astonishing! She was again listening to music that had provided meaning in her life. A year later, when Chaplain Mike presided over her funeral service, her daughters praised Wesley. Because of your program, they tearfully said, “you gave Mom back her dignity.”

Total HealthWorks

Total HealthWorks is an evidence-based virtual fitness platform created by the founders of the #1 Parkinson’s group-exercise program in the country. Regular, rigorous exercise can positively impact PD symptoms.

Exercise may slow disease progression and restore control, independence and hope in the face of a seemingly hopeless diagnosis. Evidence-based outcomes from this program demonstrate improvement in functional mobility, gait speed, balance, and depression. They help those fighting dementia, cognitive and memory issues to maintain their physical and cognitive health.

 “I am a firm believer that the Total HealthWorks program reduces Parkinson’s symptoms. I am stronger and more flexible since using the exercise program. We work on cardio, balance, core, strength, flexibility and brain activities. I am so thankful I found this program!”

-Karen D., 73, New Albany, Ohio

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