Already a vulnerable population, seniors can face mounting difficulties as winter nears, holiday plans firm up, temperatures fall and loved ones gather.
One in 5 Americans is 60 or older, with 12,000 more turning 60 each day. Of those, 1 in 4 lives alone, and half of seniors living alone lack the income for basic needs, according to Meals on Wheels America.
In Michiana, there are several organizations offering services and support to the senior community. Aligning with a group or lending an independent hand (or ear) can make a big impact. Consider these options when deciding how to best help elderly neighbors in need.
Give Something REAL
South Bend-based REAL Services provides programs that promote nutrition, self-sufficiency, education and protection for 30,000 people in 12 counties across northern Indiana each year, including seniors.
Our Meals on Wheels initiative supplies nutritious food five days a week for clients 60 and older (or the spouse of a person 60 or older), those who are at risk of malnutrition or those unable to visit a nutrition center. Deliveries connect clients to community and grant peace of mind to families as their loved ones are cared for. It’s nice to know that there is someone checking in on your loved one daily!
REAL Services also organizes client transportation, assists in covering household expenses, trains caregivers and counsels clients through health insurance decisions related to Medicare and some Medicaid plans, among other efforts.
There are many volunteer opportunities available, especially for Meals On Wheels drivers in Elkhart and St. Joseph counties. GivesomethingREAL.org