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    Gentleman looking out the window.

    THE POWER OF A KNOCK

    PROVIDING LIFESAVING HUMAN CONNECTION

    When driving a car, taking public transportation or navigating your community becomes unsafe or just too uncomfortable, a once-active person can get cut off from the social connections that we all need to thrive. As mobility wanes, our worlds get smaller. Society moves faster than we do, ultimately passing us by and leaving us behind. Soon our home may become the stage for most of our living, which can set us up for isolation and loneliness, sometimes at profound levels. This loneliness not only deteriorates our wellbeing, but it can shave years off our lives.

    That’s why the warm hello and conversation that accompany the Meals on Wheels meal delivery is a vital lifeline that keeps homebound seniors heathy and alive.

    Richard Gere, whose family has a long history as Meals on Wheels supporters, puts it this way.

    “We are such completely social beings that when we don’t have a network of social interactions we deteriorate very, very quickly. All of us. It’s the human interactions that ultimately make us feel that we are of value on this planet."

    THE KEY TO A LONGER, HEALTHIER LIFE – MAKING SURE OUR SENIORS ARE NOT ALONE

    Social connection helps us live longer. It protects us from a whole host of health conditions that include dementia, Alzheimer’s, mental health diseases and atrophy of the brain.

    The most effective tool to fight isolation and loneliness is meaningful, genuine human interaction. A phone call, a letter or a friendly hello. The seniors of each community have their own unique needs and Meals on Wheels provides customized ways to ensure their clients are not alone.

    Meals on Meals America supports a variety of socialization efforts to foster a life-saving sense of purpose and genuine connection to their community. Some of these include:

    Pet Care
    Not all meaningful connection comes for two-legged friends. A pet can truly change a senior’s life. That is why Meals on Wheels, with the support of PetSmart Charities, works hard to keep seniors and their pets healthy and happy together.

    Telephone Reassurance
    phone call from a volunteer can mean the world to a homebound senior. As importantly, that call can also serve as an important wellness check to keep them safe.

    Friendly Visitor
    Many Meals on Wheels programs provide their seniors with companionship and friendship beyond the hello at the door with their meal delivery. Those who need a little extra conversation in their lives are set up with volunteers who stop by for a longer visit. That gives them time to have a cup of coffee together, play a game or just get to catch up.

    Group Calls
    Bringing clients together for a group phone call provides an opportunity to socialize and develop relationships with other participants. Topics range from health education tips to interests of the participants, and some programs use the time for activities like bingo or book cubs.

    Handmade Greeting Cards
    A heartwarming, homemade card can instantly brighten the day of a senior in need of human connection. Knowing that, volunteers take the time to make cards and write notes that are then delivered to seniors with their meal. It’s not uncommon to see Meals on Wheels clients with their cards hanging on the fridge as a daily reminder that they are not alone.

    MEET JOAN: HOW SHE AND SNOWBALL FACE THE WORLD TOGETHER

    Joan and Snowball

    Joan enjoyed a full and independent life until she was suddenly hit by a massive stroke that had her in and out of the hospital for nearly a year. Fortunately, her local Delaware Meals on Wheels program was there for her when she began to struggle and has been there to support her ever since. Their regular visits and deliveries to the home she shares with her best companion, Snowball the cat, ensure they get the support and care they need.

    READ THE FULL STORY

    Meals on Wheels America

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