In communities across the United States, more home-bound seniors are on wait lists for Meals on Wheels programs which provide home delivered meals and help keep older adults living independently longer. According to the organization, more than 70 per cent of national senior meal programs have a waiting list, and with funding cuts combined with a rapidly growing elderly population, the need for assistance is only expected to increase in coming years.
Food insecurity is a growing concern among the senior population who sometimes must choose between buying their prescription medications and keeping the pantry stocked. And for seniors who live alone and no longer drive or have other mobility problems, a meal delivery person may be the only social contact they have during a day or even an entire week.
And Meals on Wheels isn’t just about a nutritious meal delivery, many branches also provide home repair, pet care assistance, technology training or home cleaning services to help seniors remain at home longer, saving untold tax dollars in assisted living costs. With 10,000 Americans turning 65 each day, the need for senior community support is growing and must be funded to meet the needs of the older population. A senior can be provided with meals for an entire year, with the help of volunteers who are also able to check in on the welfare of their client, for about the same cost as a day in hospital or 10 days in a nursing or assisted living home.
Meals on Wheels started in 1954 in an effort to support local Philadelphia seniors maintain their independence and connection with their community. Today nearly 2.4 millions U.S. seniors receive help from the program across the country.
To learn more about what you can so to help protect seniors against isolation and hunger visit Meals on Wheels by following this link.