Hot Food Delivered Daily – Meal On Wheels or something similar

Meals on Wheels is a great program that has helped many seniors or disabled people get one nutritious meal a day several days of the week.  Generally they are delivered by volunteers so that costs can be kept down.

We decided to get Meals On Wheels for Mom following a hospitalization.  With her Parkinsons getting worse, the shakes made it not safe for her to cook.  Even carrying the hot food to the table could have caused a burn, so we set up the Meals On Wheels.  They did an interview with us to get to know Mom’s likes and dislikes and any medical information needed.  Allergies were discussed to make sure there would be no problem.

Mom’s meals were delivered 6 days of the week at lunchtime.  She didn’t always like what they brought as they had to be somewhat bland since they were fixed for a lot of people who might have had other dietary requirements. We bought spices so Mom could alter the food to her taste.  The volunteers would bring them into the house, put them on Mom’s table and chat for a bit.

The only problem Mom really had was opening some of the containers.  They were Styrofoam and the bowls had lids that were challenging for Mom.  Some of the volunteers took the extra time to open them.

Mom’s meals cost $3.50 per day which I thought was a great deal.  She had food that she didn’t have to cook and someone in the house daily to make sure she was ok.

Unfortunately, it does not exist in all areas.  Follow this link to see if there is one in your area:

http://www.mowaa.org/page.aspx?pid=253

Even worse, with budget cuts, many programs are having to cut back on the number of days they can deliver and/or raise prices.

We had also looked into other options such as a small company that made meals and delivered them that was a little more expensive.  It sounded like it would be a good deal also but it was only 5 days a week.  Your local Chamber of Commerce might know of a service like this.

Of course, tv dinners are an option.  Home cooked meals could made up ahead of time and frozen into single servings.  This would be good if the person could handle the microwave.  Family members,  friends or volunteer organizations might be willing to do this.

Mom loved deli food so every week when I did her shopping, I made sure she had potato salad, lunch meats, cheese, bread, etc. so she could make an evening meal.  I kept fresh fruit and juice on hand also.  I made sure I opened all the containers and then loosely closed them so she would not have problems.

Bottom line, there are many ways you can make sure your loved one has food on hand that they are able to eat.  Any of all of the above could work together.

10 Places For Help So That Elderly Can Live In Their Home and Still be Safe

10 Places For Help So That Elderly Can Live In Their Home and Still be Safe

There are statistics that show that people do better in their own homes.  They feel comfortable, do not feel like they are a burden, can do things at their own pace, etc.  Naturally we would all like to see our loved one have their pride and be able to be at home.  There are many places to look for help when you see that they might need some help.  It will make you feel better and them be safer without causing any as much stress as moving them will.

These 10 places are just a beginning of places to look. Some may apply in your circumstance.  This is a basic overview.  I will be going into much more detail on each one in the future.

  1.  Meals on Wheels – this organization (or one like it) will prepare and deliver a meal to someone once a day.  Some towns do it 5 days a week and some 6 days. When we set it up for mom, we were asked what she did and didn’t like to eat.  This not only insures one good meal a day but also has one more set of eyes on your loved one.
  2. Area on Aging – This organization is nationwide and is very helpful on getting you information about what you can do.  If you are in a smaller town, they might not be able to give you information about caregivers in your area but they can probably tell you where to go to get this information.
  3. Local Health Department or Hospital – These agencies might be able to help with lists of “employees” you can hire to help out in the home.  Some are bath aides, some are medication aides and some are cleaning aides.   Always check the people’s references before you hire them.  I did interviews just as if I was hiring them to work in a ‘regular’ job even though this was much more important.
  4. Help Pendant Company – These are the companies that advertise “Help, I’ve fallen and can’t get up” pendant.  There are many different ones out there with some being worn on the neck and some on the wrist.  When I called my local Area on Aging they gave me numbers of several.  We bought one when mom was home and then had to change to a different company when we moved her in with us.  The second company had a lockbox  we left a key in case fire or emergency people had to get into the house when we were not home.
  5. Veteran’s Service Officer  – Was either parent a veteran?  There are several programs that can help veterans and/or their widow/widower.  You will need to meet with the officer to find out what you might qualify for.  You will need financial information and the veteran’s DD214 (which is the discharge papers).
  6. Health and Human Services – Depending on the financial status of the loved one, they might qualify for help from the government.  In the state I live, you can apply over the internet and then they will do an interview with you.  Most states have income and resource requirements.
  7. Church Organizations – Many churches have volunteers that will help visit with seniors in their home.  This is one way of ensuring that their spiritual health is continued and another set of eyes.
  8. Family and Friends – Often, people will help if you just ask them.  Many times we are reluctant to but most people are willing to stop in weekly or bring over some food occasionally if needed.
  9. Local Bus Company – In the small town mom lived in they had a bus service that was for the elderly.  It provided safe transportation to medical appointments, shopping, etc.  You had to call a day in advance and plan on arriving a little early at your destination in case multiple people had to be somewhere at the same time.  Cost was under $2.00 each way which was much less than a taxi.  I found the drivers to be extremely helpful to the customers.
  10. Local Grocery Stores and Pharmacies – A lot of these businesses are doing deliveries.  It might be simpler for your loved one to have these items delivered rather than go outside.  We called in an order on one day and they delivered the next.  They carried the groceries in and put them where mom could put them away.

This list is by no means complete.  There are many places to go for help.  The main thing to do is find these places BEFORE you need them.  Make up a list of phone numbers, contacts and what they do and put them in your binder so when you need to take action, you can.

What other places have you thought of or gone to for help?

Binder with information about loved one!

The organization of life documents is very important.

There are many different items you need to keep handy.  For this reason, I kept a 3 ring binder for mom’s information. This should include any information that any medical personnel might ask for.

You should always have a copy of her latest medications.  If there is ever an ambulance called, that is one of the first things the EMT’s will ask for.  I made up a document that had her doctor’s names and phone numbers (including eye doctor), all her medical conditions, surgeries, allergies, etc on it that I kept updated. If you are ever away from home visiting someone, this will let the medical staff treat the patient much faster which could be life saving.

Update:  It is also a good idea to include phone numbers for other family members in it.  What if you have a medical problem and no one knew who to get in touch with?

By doing this, in a stressful situation, all I had to do was grab the binder and go.  I also kept copies of the power of attorneys and living will in it.

Needed information should be handy.  Do not count on your memory as when medical events happen, your mind is on your loved one and your might forget a vital part of information.