I have seen all of the talk about Meals on Wheels and how some people don’t think that this is an important program. Well here is my take on it.
I will be honest before last year I wasn’t really sure what Meals on Wheels was, I knew that you could volunteer with them and deliver meals to the elderly, but that was about all I knew. I even knew that my Grandma Ruth (RIP my new angel) delivered meals on wheels for other seniors from time to time. Like most people who have never really used them, I wasn’t educated on how important the program is.
Last year, my Dad, a then, 68 year old veteran had an operation. (I talk about this in my VA series, which will have 3 parts) My Dad was normally a very independent person, however this first surgery that he had was a bypass in his leg and that would require some recovery time once he came home from the hospital. Also, he had to use a walker to get around the house. With all of the medicine and other things required for recovery, it was recommended that I try Meals On Wheels temporarily until he fully recovered, became more mobile, and could drive again.
So, I went to google and researched MOW and found out how I could get my Dad signed up. I was very concerned about how he would be able to get a good meal daily, living alone and going through his recovery. (You may ask why he was alone during this time, this was not something that I wanted, but I will go into that in another post.)
I found the MOW program in his town and sent an email to the director for assistance of how to apply and get him approved. I was then told that they had a waiting list, but I explained what was going on and was hoping that it would only be a temporary situation. The representative that I spoke with was very nice and explained the program to me to see if he could qualify. (She came out to his home to meet us and was able to get him approved for the program.) This is a summarized version, based on where he lives:
- Where my Dad lives the meals are prepared by Golden Corral and they are about 700 calorie meals and a snack. So, this makes sure the person receiving the meal gets a warm and healthy meal and snack for the day. However, in certain areas where they don’t have enough volunteers they will deliver a box of frozen meals to cover one meal every day of the week.
- Thanks to funding for this program the meals are $5 a day. There are also grants available to assist with cost for those that can’t afford this. (For those of you that eat at Golden Corral you know that meals from there are more than $5 regularly, so that is definitely an upside to the program)
- This program services disabled and elderly populations that do not have transportation or are unable to drive themselves.
- The meals are proportioned appropriately for my Dad and he seems to enjoy them all. They send out a menu and it lets you know what to expect.
- There are volunteers that deliver the meals, so if school is out or it’s a holiday you probably won’t get a delivery that day, but they will send extra food the day before and sometimes a box of snacks to get you through the weekend.
Well, as much as I wanted this to be a temporary thing while he recovered from his first surgery, the tables turned a little and I needed the program to continue after my Dad had an amputation and is in a wheelchair (temporarily). This recovery process has gone from just a couple of weeks to a couple of months. Now, my Dad is 69 is working on trying to walk, and this program has been a complete blessing.
Meals on Wheels helps us with food and budgeting and the volunteers are very nice to my Dad. If for some reason he doesn’t answer the phone, they call me to make sure that he is ok. When he has been back in the hospital, they have called and checked on him. It makes me realize that there are still some good people and I love the community aspect of the program. Without this program it would have made it harder for me to be at ease with him being home alone and trying to do too much during his recovery times. It lets me know also that at least one meal out of the day meets certain nutrition requirements and is better than just eating a sandwich or something unhealthy. He likes food from Golden Corral too, so that helps.
I know that some people don’t believe that this program is important, but it is important to me.
What are your thoughts on Meals on Wheels? Please share in the comments.