Nancy Heck, a volunteer at the Wilder Community Center for Aging

Wilder Donor and Volunteer at Adult Day Health Says "I Believe in this Place"


It can be challenging for Wilder donor and volunteer Nancy Heck to describe what she likes about the Adult Day Health Program. The problem is where to start.

The building “is the best design for Adult Day Health that anyone could come up with,” Nancy says, citing spaces designed for adults with varying levels of memory loss, outdoor spaces, a quiet room for participants to retreat and nap, and even the design of the bathrooms. The exercise and activities programming “goes above and beyond,” she says. Even small details, such as framed art created by participants that decorates the walls, make a difference. “It gives people who attend here such a feeling of being seen and heard,” says Nancy, who began volunteering with art classes after retiring in 2017.

Nancy, a licensed physical therapist, began her career in Northern California, including experience at one of the nation’s first Adult Day Health centers. After moving to Saint Paul in 2000, she worked as a home health physical therapist for Wilder for about two years before pursuing other opportunities. Eventually, she began completing quarterly consultations for Wilder’s Adult Day Health in addition to full-time employment elsewhere.

Recently, Nancy added Wilder to her will. “I wanted to make a charitable donation that I believe in, and there’s nothing I believe in more than Wilder’s Adult Day Health,” Nancy says. “I believe in this place.”

Wilder made the difficult decision to close our Adult Day Health program at the end of June 2020. Adult Day Health improved the quality of life for hundreds of older adults and adults with disabilities for more than four decades. It has been an honor to support community members who have entrusted us to care for them and their loved ones. We are grateful to our dedicated, compassionate staff, our selfless volunteers, our numerous community partners, and everyone who has played a part in making Adult Day Health a safe, welcoming place for participants and their families.