Why Meals on Wheels is so Important for Seniors in Michiana

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REAL Services is dedicated to helping elderly and low-income people become and stay independent for life. If you or someone you love needs help, call REAL Services at 574-233-8205.

By: REAL ServicesHome Comfort Experts

The Meals on Wheels program serves a critical need in our community — nourishing our beloved seniors who are unable to prepare their own meals. While it’s easy to acknowledge the importance of providing nutritious meals to seniors in need, the impact of this program reaches far beyond the dinner plate.

If a loving family member, thoughtful friend, caring co-worker or even a big-hearted stranger has ever provided a warm and healthy meal for you, you know the significance it holds. It’s a touching and heartfelt act of kindness. The food provided not only nourishes your body, but also your soul. It reminds you that you are not alone and that others genuinely care.

When a hot meal is delivered to our local homebound seniors, they experience that same warm and comforting feeling. Their bodies are nourished and just as importantly, they feel like they matter.

For many of our seniors, the friendly knock on their door by a REAL Services volunteer is the highlight of their day. Accompanying that knock is a hot meal, a smiling face, pleasant conversation and a much-needed connection to our community.

Many older adults encounter challenging situations which severely hinder or prevent them from accessing healthy meals on their own. These circumstances demonstrate the importance of Meals on Wheels as many of our elderly neighbors often experience:

  • Lack of transportation or the ability to drive
  • Financial hardships
  • Lack of energy needed to prepare healthy meals
  • Physical or mental health limitations that interfere with meal preparation

For these and many other reasons, thousands of older adults rely on the help of caring and compassionate volunteers to have a healthy and freshly cooked meal delivered right to them. This program is vitally important; many Michiana seniors would go hungry without it.

Delivering so Much More Than a Meal

Equally important as the nourishment our meals provide is the fellowship between program participants and delivery volunteers. Unlike the typical hurried drop-off of an online order that is delivered to your door, REAL Services volunteers always make a point to say hello to the person they’re delivering to. They know they might be the only person a homebound adult sees all day long so they make the most of their visit. These humble heroes once again demonstrate why Meals on Wheels is so important for the seniors in our community. Our program and our volunteers:

  • Combat isolation and loneliness – provide a familiar face, offer hope and encouragement, share in conversation, ask questions and listen
  • Serve as “eyes and ears” and complete wellness checks – notice and report any changes in physical or mental conditions
  • Provide peace of mind to family members (it’s a relief to know a loved one will receive a good meal, personal contact and a wellness check)
  • Contact family members and emergency services when necessary
  • Identify and address any potential safety hazards
  • Assist with problems
  • Help extend the independence and health of seniors as they age
  • Help seniors to feel more engaged, more energized and stronger
  • Foster positive mental health (decreasing loneliness, depression and anxiety)
  • Reduce worry about being able to continue to live at home
  • Increase feelings of safety and security
  • Improve the likelihood of eating healthy

In a rushed world where we are often too busy or distracted to stop and check on our neighbors, the caring spirit of Meals on Wheels is making a tremendous difference for the seniors in our community – providing the nutrition they need and the human contact they desire.

For more information about the program, contact the Meals on Wheels office.

You can help REAL Services support local senior residents in need by volunteering. Fill out a volunteer application online to get started.

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