Question: My father has serious health issues and isn’t able to leave his home. I am worried about his nutrition. Is there a way he could receive meals delivered to his home?
Answer: Our agency operates Meals on Wheels (MOW), a federally funded nutrition program for eligible adults who are least 60 years old, are unable to leave their homes without assistance, and cannot meet their daily nutritional needs. The good news is your father qualifies for this service.
Menu standards are based on current federal and state guidelines. Each meal contains at least a one-third of the current daily Recommended Dietary Allowance of nutrients.
Information about home-delivered meals is updated monthly on our website at: https://agespan.org/solutions/home-delivered-meals/
These meals are free, delivered five times per week. (Those who are able may donate $2 per meal) MOW drivers also perform an informal check-in with the people they visit and often notice any concerns needing to be addressed. This is a valuable service for individuals living alone, who may be isolated.
A wide variety of meals is available, such as Chinese and Latino meals as well as medically tailored meals that meet specific guidelines for chronic conditions. For example, cardiac meals feature menus with lower sodium items and fewer carbohydrates. These come with skim milk and a low-carbohydrate snack to enjoy between meals. Renal-focused meals, for people with decreased kidney function, have less sodium, potassium, and phosphorus and are served with juice instead of milk. Other specialized meals include those for people with diabetes and textured modified meals for individuals who have difficulty chewing and swallowing.
AgeSpan delivers approximately 3,000 meals daily across the 28 communities we serve. We are hiring drivers and for other nutrition program positions. For more information, call us at 800-892-0890. I wish you and your father all the best.
Are you struggling to care for an older adult or having difficulty locating resources? Our experienced staff is available to help. Visit us online at www.agespan.org for more information. You can also call us at 800-892-0890 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Joan Hatem-Roy is the Chief Executive Officer of AgeSpan, formerly Elder Services of the Merrimack Valley and North Shore.