Aging individuals are invited to participate in any of DSAWM’s All Ages or Teen and Adult programs. DSAWM also offers a few select programs specifically for mid-aged and older adults, including our Aging with Down Syndrome Support Group. Resources relevant to this stage of development include transitions coordination, medical support, and financial assistance.
DSAWM Programs and Services for Aging Adults
Aging with Down Syndrome
Caregivers of individuals with Down syndrome over the age of 30 are invited to this support group sponsored by DSAWM and Alzheimer’s Association. Participants share experiences and discuss the process of caring for loved ones growing older with Down syndrome. Visit the DSAWM calendar to find the next meeting.
Teens and adults aged 16 and older with Down syndrome meet to discuss books selected by Next Chapter Book Club. Book Club meets twice a month and is open to all reading levels, including non-readers. Visit the DSAWM calendar for upcoming meetings.
Buddy Up Tennis
Buddy Up is a weekly tennis program that teaches individuals with Down syndrome the game of tennis while supporting healthy activity and motor function. Athletes aged 5 and older work with professional coaches and one-on-one Buddies. To learn more about Buddy Up Tennis, visit the Buddy Up website. Visit the DSAWM calendar for upcoming sessions.
Teens and adults with Down syndrome aged 16 and older learn culinary terminology, cooking methods, measurement, and kitchen safety while crafting a delicious, healthy, gluten-free meal. Cooking Capers meets twice a month during the school year. Visit the DSAWM calendar for upcoming classes.
Member Financial Assistance
DSAWM’s Member Financial Assistance Fund is designed to provide financial support to families raising individuals with Down syndrome who need help with certain Down syndrome-related expenses including adoption, education, therapy, adaptive devices, respite, and hospital stays.
In this summer running program, teens and adults with Down syndrome aged 14 and older train for a 5K race by following individualized training plans based on the Couch to 5K program. Visit the DSAWM calendar for more details.
Shape Up is a health and fitness program for people with Down syndrome aged 14 and older. The weekly class consists of 45 minutes of nutrition instruction and 45 minutes of aerobic exercise. Visit the DSAWM calendar to view scheduled classes.
Skill Building Series
The Skill Building Series teaches life skills such as grocery shopping, resume preparation, public speaking, and navigating the city to foster independence for teens and adults with Down syndrome. Visit the DSAWM calendar for current offerings.
Water Ski Clinic
DSAWM hosts an Adaptive Water Ski Clinic in partnership with Kentwood Parks and Recreation every summer that focuses on sitting and standing skiing. The clinic is held on Reeds Lake every July.
Weekly Update Newsletter
The Weekly Update newsletter is emailed every Thursday and shares upcoming programs and services from DSAWM and our community partners. For new parents, it is an easy way to get connected and learn about the opportunities available to you and your family.
Through a partnership with ACCESS GR, DSAWM can connect members with the rich arts & cultural scene in West Michigan. Free tickets are available in a limited supply for both ongoing venues and special event venues. Accommodations can be made to make sure the arts are accessible to everyone.
Every December, DSAWM families gather in Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo to visit with Santa and reconnect with friends. The Grand Rapids Holiday Party is a member-only event and is held at the Grand Rapids Public Museum.
Each summer, DSAWM families gather at Tunnel Park in Holland for a day of friends, food, and fun in the sun. The Member Picnic is a member only event and is held in July.
Rock Your Socks Dance
Rock your socks off at our annual Rock Your Socks Dance in honor of World Down Syndrome Day (3/21). The event is open to anyone interested in celebrating Down syndrome.
Step Up for Down Syndrome
Step Up For Down Syndrome is the largest Down syndrome awareness event in Michigan and DSAWM’s biggest fundraiser. Families, friends, and the public are invited to this annual celebration and walk held each September where we come together to support our loved ones with Down syndrome.
Resources listed are not necessarily endorsed by DSAWM, but are a list of options that are available. If you know of additional West Michigan resources, please let us know at email@example.com.