YMCA of Southern Maine

For a Better Us.™

Adaptive Services

Adaptive Services isn’t only about the physical or psychological benefits, it’s also an encouraging network of support within the Y. We are committed to empowering people to lead fuller lives.

Adaptive Services helps participants with mental and physical challenges improve or regain quality of life by developing their bodies through specialized exercise and their self-esteem through personal relationships with peers, friends, and support staff.

Community Impact

What started 14 years ago as a way to provide extra support to Y members who needed it, has grown into a vital and profoundly supportive program in the community. The outcomes of this program include, but are truly not limited to:

• Health & Well-Being
• Self-sufficiency & Independence
• Socialization & Integration
• Relationship Building & Peer Support
• Awareness & Acceptance
• Family Support
• Advocacy

Individual Impact

As Y staff work with those living with illnesses, injuries, and disabilities, the outcomes are inspiring. Members who have come to the Y confined to a wheel chair are walking again. Those with degenerative conditions are able to maintain their strength. Other who were isolated are able to socialize and benefit from valuable peer support.

Family Impact

The Y supports the entire community, including everyone regardless of their physical or developmental abilities. This inclusive community also includes the families of those with disabilities. Adaptive Services at the Y serves the family in a way that, according to involved families, "has not been there before."

There is respite for caregivers while their loved ones are at the Y, providing them time to focus on their own health and well-being. There is also peace of mind as participants who gain strength and independence here at the Y are also now more independent at home.

Challenges and Opportunities

As the only program of its kind in the area, providing such breadth in programming for such a wide spectrum of participants (all regardless of their ability to pay), interest in Adaptive Services at the Y has surpassed the program's capacity.

There is a constant waiting list for individual work, and staff are unable to accommodate all of the requests for new programming, such as adaptive aquatics for local schools and group programs for those living with chronic illness.

In looking to meet the community demand for continued program growth and development, the greatest need is for additional staff to be able to serve more people.

One additional part-time staff member would enable the Y to accommodate 7 to 10 additional people coming to the Y twice a week. A goal of meeting this need has spurred an increased fundraising effort to move beyond sustaining and into growing Adaptive Services at the Y.

Program Details

Adaptive Services help participants improve or regain quality of life by developing their bodies through specialized exercise, and their self-esteem through personal relationships with peers, friends, and support staff.

A current snapshot of Adaptive Services:

• 41 people one-on-one or in small groups
• 20 people served in adaptive aquatics
• 45 hours per week of direct service
• 10 plus referring and partnering agencies
• With a zero barrier approach, services are offered at no cost to participants
• The program benefits from the invaluable support of volunteers, including 40 hours per month in transporting participants to and from the Y
• A constant waiting list

Adaptive Services isn't only about the physical benefits, or even the psychological benefits of boosting self-confidence in the face of greater independence. It is also an encouraging network of support within the Y.

Adaptive Services Auction

Each year we hold an Adaptive Services Auction which raises money for our program at the Y.  The auction includes a silent and live auction, hors d'oeuvres, beer and wine bar, a 50/50 raffle, and much more!  It's an evening of fun for a great cause!  This year's 15th Annual Auction will be held on March 23, 2017 from 6-9pm at the Holiday Inn by the Bay in Portland. You can check out our Auction Event page for more information about the event and to see a list of auction items that our wonderful guests bid on. 

The 2016 Adaptive Services Auction saw much action and we are so thankful for the donors, volunteers, attendees, and many more who helped make the event a huge success. Read more about the 2016 event in the Portland Press Herald!