I have heard that the "Meals on Wheels" program is available...
I have heard that the "Meals on Wheels" program is available to anyone over 65 and disabled by something. I'm curious as to anyone's experience with this program. I truly think this could be almost a life saver for caregivers who are so busy trying to do other things. Can you share your knowledge and/or experience with this program with the rest of us?? Please? :)
Funny you should ask this question!
I signed my mother up for MEALS ON WHEELS when separate meal preparation for her "special schedule" had just about burned out my husband!
Signing up was a snap! It involved a phone interview and a request for an eventual personal interview (which hasn't happened in four months.) The staff are super friendly and anxious to please.
The food is quite good, so my mother RAVES about her dinners NIGHTLY, and thinks my husband prepares special dinners just for her... The meals are nutritionally balanced, pre-made, pre-packaged and frozen, and microwavable...
When it's time to feed her, my husband sets my mother up at the dining room table (OUT of the kitchen,) with ALL the lights on so she can read the paper or a magazine while he "cooks." He even pours her a cup of hot tea (we pre-make the tea, by the gallon) to "cement her in place" at the dining table. This allows him to "nuke" the dinner, and check up on my mother as he prepares her food.
When the food is cooked, he transfers it from the plastic tray to a real plate, adds fruit and/or some fresh greens, and INSTANT MEAL! (No more made to order...)
The meals are inexpensive, (FREE if you cannot afford to pay,) and participation in this federal program does NOT require a "means test." This means you do not have to have "low income" to qualify. It is available for EVERYBODY!!!
IF you are financially comfortable you can pay more than"cost" (if you want to support the program,) to help subsidize those who cannot pay anything.
The meals are DELIVERED to your house by volunteers who are happy to "visit" with seniors or shut-ins who are alone. Many of the volunteers are elderly themselves.
We have ours delivered WEEKLY, though you can arrange it daily if you wish. The meals can be delivered and left in a cooler (if you cannot be there to receive delivery.) You may order as many meals per week as you wish. They prepare lunches and dinners for seven days per week.
As you discover which dinners your loved one likes least, you can customize your order to exclude those. Where we live, the "week's supply" includes: the meals we've ordered, one quart of low-fat milk, a fresh fruit (or two) for each day, small sides of salad for each meal (cole slaw, carrot-raisin salad, macaroni salad, potato salad, or pickled cabbage,) a half dozen FRESH bagels, (or bread, depending on the donations made,) small "school-sized" juices (type varies,) and sometimes a variety of snacks. (Some of these are "extras" put together by our local Meals On Wheels staff.)
Either way, the meals ALONE are worth it. They send a "bill" monthly, with a "suggested donation" based on the number of meals you've ordered.
This program has been a real help for us.
Hope this helps somebody else!
Before I forget, I should add that:
You are correct: Eligible participants are:
ANYONE OVER AGE 65,
ANYONE WITH A DOCUMENTED DISABILITY.
Also, when I applied for my mother, they asked me WHY she needed the meals. (I don't know if they needed a reason, or were just interested...)
I told them the TRUTH - that we were so overworked caring for my mother as well as taking care of our own needs and those of our children, that we were worried that she was NOT GETTING a BALANCED DIET EVERY SINGLE DAY. I told them I thought that the regularity of a BALANCED DIET on a DAILY BASIS, might help with her IRRITABLE BOWEL problems...
They said I was wise to think of it, and they'd start delivery the very next day.
And they did.