About Joyce Patterson, MPH

I am currently a Dietetic Intern with the University of Michigan School of Public Health Internship Program. I also work as a communications consultant specializing in writing, design, and strategic planning of health communications initiatives. My background includes an MPH degree in human nutrition, professional experience in marketing and advertising, and a BA in English Language and Literature.

A Special Thanks to our Volunteers, Sponsors, and Donors

Every year on Thanksgiving, many people celebrate with a bounty of food. We take a moment to remember the things we are grateful for: our families, our home, our health, and anything else that fulfills our lives. In some cases, it gives us an opportunity to appreciate the things that we may normally take for granted during our busy, daily lives. But for Ann Arbor Meals on Wheels clients, the nutritious meals and visits they receive from us are appreciated every day.

Without Ann Arbor MOW and the people who support our program, many of our clients would not eat. Many would not have somebody to check in on them during the hot summers and the cold winters, and give them a friendly smile to let them know that someone cares. We at Ann Arbor MOW are grateful that we can provide this much needed service to our clients, and we are especially thankful to the staff, volunteers, and donors who make it happen.

Your generosity is more than a nice gesture, it is a life-saving act. Nothing illustrates that more than these words of gratitude from the very people you have touched:
− I don’t know what I’d do without you all. Such a very fine and life-saving program. I thank you all with a very full heart.
− I wouldn’t eat if it wasn’t for Meals on Wheels…may the lord bless all of you.
− The volunteers are excellent—caring, friendly, and very much appreciated by me.
− You’re there to help when I can’t help myself.
− You’re all angels at Meals on Wheels. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
− The meals are such a help for me and there is no telling you how much I appreciate this service. Thank you!
− Everything about it and the blessing of it and the friendly people [are what is most helpful]…God bless you all!

These are just a handful of things our clients say about our service. For all who are a part of the Meals on Wheels family, we thank you.

If you have not yet become involved with Ann Arbor MOW, consider joining our program. Whether through a modest monetary donation or a contribution of your time, your participation can change—and save—the lives of many.

One of the best ways to celebrate our blessings is to provide for someone else in need. It is a celebration that can happen throughout the year, one that is deeply appreciated by hundreds of people. Visit our website for information on how you can donate or volunteer at Ann Arbor MOW.

MOW for the Blind and Visually Impaired

Imagine trying to cross the street without being able to see the crosswalk signal. Or carrying bags of groceries for long distances while also holding on to a walking stick or a seeing eye dog. Or grabbing a knife without seeing which end is the handle or the blade. These are the challenges that make it difficult for the blind or visually impaired to prepare their own meals.

With our older population rapidly increasing, so is the population of people with limited or no sight. Over half of the world’s blindness is due to age-related cataracts. Other causes include age-related macular degeneration and diabetes, afflictions common in older adults. Over 80% of the world’s blind population is over 50 years old. For our clients, low vision is related to, or in addition to, other conditions that make it difficult for them to leave the home.

On October 11th, World Sight Day will be observed around the world to raise awareness about visual impairment and efforts to prevent avoidable blindness. However, for the MOW population, treatments or cures for their vision problems are either unavailable or unaffordable, and the meals we deliver allow them to eat a hot, nutritious meal that they might not otherwise be able to prepare.

“Due to my eyes and hearing…I am very grateful for your help. Thank you.”
-Meals On Wheels Participant

The service Ann Arbor Meals on Wheels provides meets the needs of hundreds of people with a variety of limitations. Many are older adults with age related conditions, while others may have disabilities that are unrelated to their age. Some may be temporarily homebound for a minimum of three weeks. Others may need meals delivered indefinitely.

If you or someone you know in Ann Arbor has difficulty obtaining meals on a daily basis, MOW may be able to help. Visit our website for eligibility requirements. Eligible clients are served regardless of age or financial status. Each delivery includes a hot meal and a cold meal, both include a beverage.

To apply for Ann Arbor Meals On Wheels, call (734) 998-6686 or email aamealsonwheels@umich.edu for more information.

Let’s Celebrate Grandparents

This month we celebrate National Grandparents Day. This is a time to honor the older adults who have helped to shape our world. They are the memory keepers of our history. Many protected our country, labored for our economy, and contributed to technology and innovation. They also built our families, provided for our education and futures, and passed on our family traditions, recipes, photos and memories. They are a treasure of information and knowledge, and thus a generation worth treasuring.

This year, we celebrate grandparents as a nation on September 9th. But Ann Arbor Meals on Wheels provides an opportunity for you to celebrate them throughout the year with a population who is in desperate need of attention and care.

Many older adults are homebound due to illness, disabilities, or other age-related limitations. They may have children living hours away. Some may not have children or family at all. Yet they, too, have lived a life worth celebrating and remembering.

For many, the Ann Arbor MOW volunteers are like family. Not only do the volunteers deliver nutritious meals, but they provide the much needed human contact that our clients need for good quality of life. For many, the volunteers are the only people they see all day. During these brief visits, volunteers and clients can share a smile, a laugh, or a memory. Many clients proudly share pictures of their grandchildren who live far away, or tell stories about when their children were young. Volunteers who are parents often bring their children on deliveries. Many clients are delighted by visits from young children, which can truly brighten their day.

Volunteers also serve as the eyes and ears for family members who are unable to regularly check on their parents and grandparents. They make sure that their clients are feeling well. They look for signs of distress, such as poor hygiene, inability to keep up the home, or the client is unable to answer the door. If a volunteer has concerns, they immediately contact the home office where staff can take action, such as calling emergency services and/or contacting family.

As we take a moment on Grandparents Day to remember our loved ones and celebrate their contributions to our lives, also remember those older adults who may not have family available for celebration. Consider becoming a member of our volunteer team. Whether you make yourself available as an occasional substitute driver, or you take on a regular delivery schedule, any amount of time you donate can make a difference in someone’s life.

Delivery routes take 1-2 hours to complete. In that time, volunteers reach about 10-13 people. It doesn’t take long before volunteers get to know our clients and become a treasured part of their day. Please join us to celebrate and care for our older generation all year long.