Founded in 1893, Sheltering Arms Senior Services has devoted more than a century to providing Houston’s elderly population with care, advocacy, and community support. Despite its long history, the nonprofit organization is only looking forward. Between 2011 and 2012, it provided seniors with 128,658 hours of personal-care assistance—including meal preparation and housekeeping—and fed 2,182 seniors a nutritious meal. And their specially designed Adult Day Center, which provides top-notch care for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. Factor in the organization's more than 20 Houston-area senior centers, where staffers offer recreational activities, health education, and legal advocacy, and it is clear that Sheltering Arms is only building upon its 120-year foundation.
Sheltering Arms' mission begins with its committed corps of staff members and volunteers. Certified nurses’ aides customize and implement home-care plans that include light housekeeping, meal prep, and medication reminders. Social workers advocate for members at risk of being institutionalized by managing their financial and health casework. Volunteers make daily safety checks on seniors who are living alone and organize arts-and-crafts classes, game nights, and dances.
Zada McGuire, owner of Natural Gifts Holistic Center, advocates using therapeutic massage and holistic health philosophies as an alternative to medication. In a calming atmosphere, McGuire and her team of therapists execute various massage and energy treatments to help clients to overcome emotional and physical hurdles.
"Craniosacral therapy is probably the most life-changing” of the center’s offerings, says McGuire. “We just corrected a lady with TMJ” using the technique's signature combination of massage and energy work. But McGuire and her team also heal with traditional massage therapy, reducing muscle tension and anxiety without medicine, harsh therapies, or industrial-size steamrollers. “People think it has to hurt for them to walk out and feel different, but that’s not the case,” McGuire says.
At each of its 31 area locations, the YMCA of Greater Houston pursues a mission to bring health, wellness, and personal growth to communities. Kids leap into activities ranging from swim lessons and youth sports to a teen Youth & Government program that stirs up confidence and leadership abilities in students, preparing them for mudslinging student-council campaigns.
Zumba, ballroom dance, and Les Mills group exercise classes shake up adult workout routines, as complimentary childcare frees up parents to pursue fitness goals. Meanwhile, adult sport leagues such as basketball and racquetball result in friendly competition and hyper-literate team names inspired by obscure philosophers.
Dale Carnegie believed in the power of self-improvement so much that he started a training company. Since founding the company, his dream has expanded to encompass more than 2,700 trainers stationed in over 85 countries. These trainers have pursued an unwavering mission: to give participants the skills they need to boost job performance and professional effectiveness. Online courses cover such topics as leadership training, sales success, and personal influence and effectiveness. All webinars, courses and materials are based on Dale Carnegie's time-honored approach, outlined in How to Win Friends and Influence People. Dale Carnegie now offers much of its information and many of its classes online.
To help clients set aside the stresses of everyday life and feel more confident in their appearance, Carpe Diem Relaxation and Wellness Spa's staff uses medspa technology as well as time-honored treatment modalities. The center's cosmetic laser system, diamond microdermbrasion wands, and teeth-whitening products provide a modern approach to correcting common cosmetic concerns. Additionally, the weight-loss programs help people lose stubborn inches by combining everything from counseling to metabolism-boosting injections. Along with technologically forward-looking treatments, the spa offers vintage relaxation with massage therapy that helps relieve muscular tension.
The American Heart Association has no army with which to fight heart disease and its side effects. Instead, they—and the certified instructors at Health Street LLC—arm everyday citizens with the ability to save lives through CPR certifications and first-aid training. They host classes for health-care professionals and everyday citizens in a dedicated training room outfitted with the equipment needed to practice and perfect advanced life-saving skills on children and adults. They teach a maximum of 14 students at a time, allowing them to provide plenty of personal attention and advice on technique.