The YWCA Valley West Center has been a vital service to the community in Glendale for over 35 years. Many seniors come through our doors to enjoy the delicious, nutritious lunch with their friends. Once they enter the center they can take part in numerous activities conducted yearly. These include socialization and recreation activities, health & wellness events, and supplemental food resources. The combination of these programs benefit one of the fastest growing populations in the state. Arizona already has one of the largest senior populations in the nation, and that is expected to triple by 2050.
With the number of senior Arizonans on the rise, the YWCA Valley West Center is leading in its mission to serve them in every aspect of wellness. For example, the center has an outdoor track that during the fall months the seniors use for exercise, as well as a garden that they are free to cultivate at any time.
With awareness of the growing prevalence of food insecurity among seniors, our primary focus is on providing adequate nutrition to the senior population through the Meals on Wheels home delivered meal service and the Dining Room meals served in four dining rooms throughout Glendale. We also know how important it is to help seniors feed their pets. The YWCA “We Feed Four Feet” program provides pet food for those needing help with their furry four legged companions. This comprehensive approach to enhance their quality of life offers new activities and companionship, while maintaining a sense of comfort; a home away from home for the seniors.
“What I like about this center is how personable, and friendly the environment here is,” said a participant.
While the center provides consistency for its seniors, new activities are also there daily to provide some variety.
“When I walk through the door there is always a surprise, I never know what activity will be going on that day! It offers a good change to my daily routine,” expressed another senior. And variety it has; with guest speakers ranging from doctors, social workers, and wellness coaches, with blood pressure checks, exercise programs, performers, and so much more.
“All of the presentations have been amazing,” stated one senior, 73, who has been coming to the center for four years. What drew her to the center initially was the lunch program. The center offers dining room meals Monday-Friday at noon and costs the seniors a suggested contribution of only $2.50. There are also additional food programs available to them. With all of our food programs the YWCA Valley West Center is able to help over 1,000 seniors gain access to food, for some this is where they get the majority of their food. This is not an isolated occurrence in the center, for most of the participants say the daily lunch provided is their main meal of the day, and for some their only meal.
“I have very little income, I come here because if I did not I would have nowhere else to go”
“That is what I like about this center, you do not have to pay to come enjoy the activities here, and I can make a contribution for my lunch,” expressed another senior, 69, who has been attending the center for three years. The seniors even do their own giving back by sewing hats for Veterans and scarves for the group “Chemo for Kids”.