A few weeks ago we started a new feature, "Profiles". The whole concept is based on sharing the stories of the Friendship Centers' staff and their journey that brought us all together. Today it's a lot of fun to share a profile of an amazing member of our board, Dale Adler. Both Dale and her husband are passionate about the mission of the Friendship Centers and supporting the community.
I first learned of Senior Friendship Centers in Sarasota 30 years ago when I was working with people age 55 and above returning to community living after many years in some instances, of being at the G. Pierce Wood State Hospital. The Friendship Centers Health Services Clinic played an essential role in meeting the needs of this vulnerable group of adults and provided access to specialty services delivered by competent, compassionate volunteer physicians.
I moved to SE Michigan (1986-2004) and had the privilege of working with state units of government, clinical research faculty and a wide range of community organizations that provide long term supports and services to adults with disabilities and elders. Michigan is a ‘people-first’ state, a philosophy that reflects my own personal values.
It was not surprising to find myself drawn to the Friendship Centers upon my return to SW Florida; an organization that embodies ‘People Helping People.’ I met Nancy Hobson at a SCOPE Community Conversations forum, who introduced me to programs offered by the Friendship Centers’ Caregiver Resource Center and a highly-dedicated team of professional staff and volunteers throughout the organization.
I was nominated to join the Board of Governors in 2011 and am currently serving my second term. These past four years have deepened my awareness and appreciation for the important difference that Friendship Centers makes in the lives of individuals and their families at times of crossroads and change.
For some people, the Friendship Centers is a place where they can apply their valuable expertise in volunteer service to their community. For others, it provides the reassurance of connecting with people who can provide information, education and support that will help them plan for an uncertain future. And for those who are experiencing changes in ability, health, memory, or other personal circumstances, the Friendship Centers’ supportive services can help people continue to live in their own homes. They can continue to be engaged in community life by participating in classes and social activities offered by senior centers and lunch-time neighborhood community dining cafés.
On a personal note, the Friendship Centers has also helped me grow by participating in Strategic Planning, Chairing the Governance Committee, serving on a Lee County Senior Hunger Task Force and steering committee for a Senior Economic Security Symposium in 2013.