When to Make a Referral

It seems that we always get more referrals this time of year – the weeks between Thanksgiving and the New Year. We attribute it to younger family members seeing their aging parents or grandparents, and realizing their loved one could benefit from home delivered meals.

Mayo Clinic has a good article “Aging Parents: 7 warning signs of health problems” that provides useful suggestions and action steps for those who are starting to care for aging family members or friends. Below is a quick overview:

1. Are your aging parents taking care of themselves. We, including our volunteers, pay attention to our clients’ appearance – has there been a change in how they’re caring for themselves and their home? Is there heat? Is the yard overgrown? Are they able to clear snow/ice from their driveway and stairs to the house?

2. Are your aging parents experiencing memory loss? We all occasionally forget things. But there’s a difference between normal memory loss and that associated with types of dementia. Misplaced keys, glasses, and other items are “normal’. Getting lost in familiar neighborhoods is more concerning.

3. Are your aging parents safe in their home?

4. Are your aging parents safe on the road?

5. Have your aging parents lost weight? Weight loss can be attributed to difficulty cooking, loss of taste/smell or underlying health conditions such as depression, malnutrition, or cancer.

6. Are your aging parents in good spirits? What is their mood like? Have there been any changes? Depression and anxiety are not part of normal aging; they can be treated at any age.

7. Are your aging parents able to get around? Are they unsteady on their feet? Is it difficult for them to use stairs? Have they decreased their physical activity?

Programs like Ann Arbor Meals on Wheels can help if your loved one is having difficulty preparing meals due to physical and emotional health problems. The visit by the volunteer who delivers the meal also serves as a wellness or safety check. We contact you if there concerns and can make referrals for support services.

For more information about eligibility visit http://www.med.umich.edu/aamealsonwheels/mealmakereferal.html.

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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.