I came into work this morning and opened the following e-mail (excerpt) from an adult caregiver:
Recently I was faced with my father and I changing our caretaker roles. The other day he was found by his neighbor without heat and with very little food. I am still working through why this happened and setting up services so this will not happen again. One of the places that I went to for help was the Meals of Wheels facility up north. I will be signing him up next week to receive the meals, knowing that he will have nutritious meals and someone to stop in to say hello and “check in” on my father. Being 3 hours away from my father, this is a big relief.
Meals on Wheels programs like ours do more than just deliver a meal.
We deliver companionship. With over 60% of our clients living alone, a Meals on Wheels volunteer may be the only person a client sees all day. Many of our clients come to know and trust their volunteer. Indeed, many of our volunteers consider the clients on their route “theirs”.
We deliver a wellness or safety check. Upon returning the office, our volunteers report back any concerns they have about the clients on their route. Staff follow-up with all concerns our volunteers express. Volunteers have found clients without heat, without telephone service, on the floor – unable to get up and many more situations requiring immediate attention.
We deliver peace of mind. Many of our clients have adult children living 2-3 hours away if not further. Our meal delivery affords these adult children the peace of mind knowing their parent is receiving a delicious, nutritious meal and that someone is able to be their ‘eyes and ears’ on a regular basis.
We truly are making a difference, one meal at a time.