Meals on Wheels delivers more than 87,000 meals to at least 525 homebound people in St. Joseph County — but that’s not all. Here are 6 things that Meals on Wheels delivers that aren’t a meal.
Meals on Wheels deliveries aren’t just a single meal. The kitchen staff at REAL Services packs a hot meal, a cold meal and sometimes snacks every day for clients. On Fridays, deliveries include meals for over the weekend as well.
Every Meals on Wheels meal and snack is healthy and tasty. Meals are also customized to accommodate clients’ diets, such as for clients with Diabetes or who need lower-sodium options. A 2013 University of Illinois study found that seniors who participated in Meals on Wheels and similar programs had healthier diets and overall higher quality of life.
A safety check
When a volunteer delivers a meal, they’re also checking in on someone who may not get another visitor that day… or even that week! Meals on Wheels volunteers make sure that clients are safe — and if they aren’t, the volunteer is trained to help. If a client doesn’t answer the door, volunteers call REAL Services or 911.
Meals on Wheels volunteers often develop relationships with the people they see on their delivery routes. They get to know each other’s names, families, hobbies and interests. Clients often look forward to their meal deliveries for the smiling face at their door than the food in their hands. In 2015, a Brown University study found that seniors who get Meals on Wheels deliveries report feeling less lonely and isolated than seniors who are not Meals on Wheels clients.
Seniors who receive Meals on Wheels deliveries usually can’t drive or walk to a grocery store, but they’re still healthy enough to live at home. Getting Meals on Wheels delivered allows seniors to stay in their homes, rather than a nursing home. In fact, one month in a nursing home could cost more than five years’ worth of Meals on Wheels deliveries to a single person.
A sense of purpose
Clients aren’t the only people who benefit from Meals on Wheels! Volunteers also get benefits — like a strong sense of purpose that comes from helping people in need. People who volunteer are also less likely to be stressed or experience depression and more likely to have high-self esteem and live longer.
Meals on Wheels in St. Joseph County is operated by REAL Services, which is dedicated to keeping you in your home as long as you want to be there. Do you need help? Call REAL Services at 574-233-8205.
REAL Services is proudly supported by Home Comfort Experts. All In For Alzheimer’s.