The United Way of the Greater Triangle supports a plethora of worthwhile non-profit charitable organizations in Orange and Durham Counties. But its decision to pull the rug out from funding of the Seymour Senior Center wellness program was both unwise and misguided.

Regrettably, it will result in unintended consequences and cause needless hardship to the older adults of our community.

The United Way’s decision comes as a shock to the many senior citizens of Chapel Hill and Carrboro who have relied upon free access to the use the fitness facility. In addition, the machines used by seniors to monitor their blood pressure also may be eliminated.

For more than a decade, the United Way has seen fit to fund the vital Chapel Hill Senior Center wellness program. Why then has the United Way suddenly turned its back on the senior citizens of our community?

In its letter of rejection, the United Way suggested the Seymour Center should focus more on other services to help seniors live independently, rather than fitness alone. Perhaps there’s something missing here in their understanding of just what programs are offered at the senior center.

What better way to help seniors live more independently than to keep them physically fit? In addition to the wellness programs, the Seymour Center offers a wide variety of services to enable seniors to stay healthy and mentally alert.

To mention just a few of these activities, the Seymour Center provides classes on mobility, balance and falls prevention , diabetes management, hearing screenings, aerobics, resistance exercises, personal trainer sessions, strength training, tai chi, nutrition, physical function screening , and more — much more. The Friends of the Robert and Pearl Seymour Center is grateful for the United Way’s support of the Center’s Wellness programs over more than a decade, but we can’t help but feel they have let down the older adults of our community in 2013.