The Westfield Foundation

Community Support Group | The Gateway Family YMCA

Provides Support for Virtual WISE Adult Services

The Westfield Foundation Provides Support for Virtual WISE Adult Day Services at The Gateway Family YMCA

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The Westfield Foundation Provides Support for Virtual WISE Adult Day Services at The Gateway Family YMCA

The Westfield Foundation provided a $5,000 grant to The Gateway Family YMCA in support of the Virtual WISE Adult Day Services program.  This grant assists the YMCA in providing digital devices for program participants and their caregivers to enable seamless participation in Virtual WISE Adult Services.

For over 35 years, The Gateway Family YMCA’s WISE (Wellness, Independence and Socialization for our Elders) Adult Social Day Services program has specialized in meeting the unique needs of members living with Alzheimer’s, dementia and/or cognitive impairment. With a strong focus on family and caregiver support, WISE provides caregivers a necessary respite while their loved ones are engaged in activities that challenge their minds, memories and creativity in a supportive environment. Throughout the global coronavirus pandemic, the Virtual WISE program continues this commitment utilizing a unique format for the safety of WISE members.

“We are very appreciative of the support provided by the Westfield Foundation.” stated Krystal R. Canady, CEO, The Gateway Family YMCA. “Together, we are supporting this unique demographic and keeping everyone connected throughout the pandemic and beyond.”

“Our staff team is dedicated to these families, providing daily contact, information, socialization activities, support, counseling, home visits and meal delivery,” stated Melynda A. Mileski, EVP/COO, The Gateway Family YMCA.  “Now, more than ever, providing continuity of support is necessary for our WISE members and families.  This virtual format allows us to support our members while they remain safe at home.”

The Virtual WISE program’s curriculum includes daily activity emails, wellness and movement activities, weekly social work support, live virtual Zoom activities, caregiver support groups, home drop-off of activity supplies and meals, and 24/7 telephone availability of WISE Center YMCA staff. Each morning members receive an email filled with calendar specific topics and sensory based activities like virtual tours, songs, recipes and exercise recommendations. Regularly scheduled live Zoom meetings provide WISE staff-led activities and fun like “FamJams,” trivia sessions, karaoke and online games. WISE staff are always available for individual, family, and/or caregiver support through 24/7 phone access. To date, over 150 WISE families have been supported by the program throughout this pandemic.

“The WISE Center has been the biggest support to me in taking care and meeting the challenges I face with taking care of my husband with dementia.  The programs have also had the biggest impact on my own self-care,” stated a Virtual WISE program caregiver.

For information about the Virtual WISE Adult Day Services Program, please contact Susan Butler, Director of WISE Adult Day Services at 908-349-9622 or

Virtual WISE Adult Day Services is run by The Gateway Family YMCA, a leading 501(c)(3) non-profit, health and community service organization committed to strengthening community by connecting all people to their potential, purpose and each other.  Working locally, the Y focuses on empowering young people, improving health and well-being, and inspiring action in and across communities.  By bringing together people from different backgrounds, perspectives and generations, the Y ensure that all have access to the opportunities, relationships and resources necessary to learn, grow and thrive.

For more information about The Gateway Family YMCA visit


The Gateway Family YMCA