Daily Living Centers Offer Veterans Opportunities For Social Engagement, Volunteer Events
Story by Van Mitchel, Staff Writer
Daily Living Centers Inc, a nonprofit Adult Day Service Provider that serves adults with developmental disabilities, senior adults, and veterans, based in Oklahoma City, previously celebrated Veterans Day in a meaningful way- giving back to their community.
Each Daily Living Centers location completed a service project to serve local veterans. DLC is a proud member of SHINE, Start Helping Impacted Neighbors Everywhere, a volunteer program created by Oklahoma County Commissioner, Brian Maughan.
The Bethany Center created thank you cards to give to the VA Living Center in Norman. The Bethany participants and staff had a cookie and punch party with the veterans at the VA Home in Norman while dropping off the cards.
The South Oklahoma City Center visited the OKC VFW, located at 4605 South Pennsylvania, to decorate for Veteran’s Day.
“Citizens for SHINE (Start Helping Impacted Neighborhoods Everywhere) encourages non-profits and businesses to recognize their employees, participants, or residents volunteer efforts. It is great to see members of Daily Living Centers giving back through SHINE. Every bit of litter pick-up, every flower planted, and every hour invested in a better community pays dividends for us all, stated County Commissioner Brian Maughan.”
In 2021, Daily Living Centers joined the Citizens for SHINE Program. Since then, their participants have completed over 60,000 volunteer hours.
“We have a volunteer SHINE program, and a lot of our veterans are a part of that where they can give back to the center or the community,” said Amanda Dirmeyer, Daily Living Centers President & CEO. “They can volunteer here in the center where some of them just help with rolling out the silverware or preparing for activities, or we actually will go out and clean up a park or maybe stock shelves at a food pantry. We have a Navy veteran who even started a choir here.”
Dirmeyer said Daily Living Centers is grateful to serve participants from all walks of life and to be able to meet their individual needs.
Since 1974, Daily Living Centers (DLC) has provided rest and hope for caregivers. They are Oklahoma’s first and leading non-profit adult day provider for senior adults and adults with disabilities ages 18 and older. There are three locations that offer nonresidential affordable day services for over 200 participants 246 days a year in an environment that enhances mind, body, and spirit. While attending DLC, “participants” enjoy healthy meals, exercise programs, socialization, activities, and outings that meet their individual needs.
Dirmeyer said they have a fleet of vehicles including limos and wheelchair accessible vans that provide door-to-door transportation and medical rides.
She said many of the participants have physical and/or mental limitations or suffer from isolation and depression.
Common diagnoses found in those DLC serve include dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, stroke, traumatic brain injury, autism, Down Syndrome, and other developmental disabilities. Caregivers often say that DLC services are “lifesaving.”
“Our populations are adults with developmental disabilities as well as senior adults,” Dirmeyer said. “We feel it is important for caregivers to know that veterans can attend our centers through VA funding. They need to be established with the VA and have a VA physician who will provide a consult in order to start attending a DLC center.”
Dirmeyer said DLC offers meals, exercise and art therapy, as wells as help with personal care if anyone needs assistance in the restroom or bathing services.
“We have breakfast, lunch, and an afternoon snack every day. A variety of different types of exercise classes are offered including chair Zumba, yoga, cycle classes, and more,” she said. “We do a lot with music therapy and art therapy. Our participants, they’re very creative, and so we can do things with painting, crafts, and puzzles. Games and reminiscing activities are great to stimulate the mind. Weekly community outings are planned for each center which include libraries, parks, museums, and big events such as the circus.”
Dirmeyer said the VA will pay for veterans to attend DLC.
“A lot of people are not aware that the VA will pay for our services, and they’re able to come here,” she said. “They build friendships and meet with other veterans and swap stories. It’s beneficial for them because we recognize them for their service.”
Dirmeyer said she has a passion working to help seniors.
“My passion has always been to work with seniors, and I’ve been in the senior healthcare field for about 22 years now,” she said. “My biggest goal is to spread the word everywhere because this service is so vital, especially to caregivers.”
For more information regarding Daily Living Center’s services, contact Ragan Franklin at (405) 792-2401 or visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/dailylivingcenters