MOW provides a source of daily social contact for people who would otherwise be alone. It allows for earlier release from hospitals and long-term care and helps in keeping elderly and disabled persons at home - allowing them to age in place and live with dignity. In our community, there have been a vast increase in the number of people accessing area hunger-relief organizations. While the local food banks provide a vital service for able-bodied people who can shop and cook but who are also short of funds, MOW serves a complementary population of area residents who are unable to prepare their own meals and who are also, in large part, isolated and alone. The fact that our volunteers visit with our clients daily allows them to form lasting friendships, allows us a window into their world and allows them to be connected to additional services when needed.
*What community need does the project address?
Adequate nutrition is necessary for health, functionality and the ability to remain independent. Healthy eating can increase mental acuity, resistance to illness and disease, energy levels, immune system strength, recuperation speed and the ability to manage chronic health problems. MOW ensures that seniors have access to adequate nutrition even when family support, mobility and resources are lacking. For many seniors, the MOW volunteer who shows up each day with a hot meal and a warm smile is the only person they see or speak with all day. This delivery is the reason to get up in the morning, something to look forward to, and a reminder to take good care of themselves. Along with the inevitable impacts of aging come the increased risks of medical emergencies, falls and other accidents. The safety check that accompanies each meal delivery helps to reduce falls, trips to the hospital or premature institutionalization. It also ensures that, in the case of an emergency or problem, medics will be called, families will be notified and our seniors will not be forgotten.
We are particularly concerned with our clients over 75 years old (38%), living alone, with income at or below the poverty level without the ability to prepare a hot meal. All meal recipients receive an annual visit from staff and monthly newsletters to provide them with information regarding additional resources within the community. MOW provides birthday and holiday gifts (which are donated) and seasonal cards throughout the year, as one of our goals is to provide emotional support and to broaden connection to the larger community while we provide much needed nutrition. For millions of Americans, Meals on Wheels is literally the difference between remaining in their own homes and needing to relocate to a nursing facility. Research proves that when seniors have the right support, they gain greater quality of life, need fewer hospital stays and live longer.
The Merrymakers Association provides live professional music to 146 senior communities throughout Nebraska and in western and central Iowa. Activity directors agree that our monthly performances improve seniors' quality of life, decrease feelings of anxiety and depression, decrease feelings of loneliness and isolation, increase happiness and give a chance to express feelings.
We currently have about 30 facilities on our waiting list. Our goal for Give 65 is to kick off a year of fundraising to tackle that waiting list. Please help us meet our goal of raising funds to bring music to seniors across Nebraska and in western and central Iowa.
by Little Brothers - Friends of the Elderly, Chicago Chapter
At Little Brothers, our Summer Vacation Experiences help isolated, lonely elders make fun summer memories and savor beautiful weather, all while surrounded by friends. Instead of watching on as the city enjoys the season, our elders are able to come out of their homes and spend cherished time with friends.
For 13 weeks from June through September, elders escape the city to peaceful Audrey's House, our summer vacation retreat and year-round program center in Batavia, IL. There, our elders are immersed in friendship during a three-night, four-day getaway filled with activities, like a trip to the theater, walking the path that encircles the house or playing card games together.
Day trips to Audrey's House give more elders the chance to enjoy fresh air and wide-open green spaces. Our elders find so much happiness and relaxation vacationing or day tripping that they often tell us their regular aches and stresses disappear while they're away.
We also provide staycation experiences to our elders, bringing the fun and rejuvenation of time away closer to home. We host a Spa Day, a Summer Luau, and go on outings to the museum or aquarium, for example. And our elders get to enjoy new experiences or reconnect with a beloved pastime. Last summer, Charles caught his first fish in 40 years during an afternoon of fishing and picnicking at Busse Woods.
Our homebound elders receive visits from volunteers and staff throughout the year, and summer visits include specially themed games, activities and gifts. Our volunteers make friendship feel like sunshine, sharing their time, laughter and conversation to make special memories and meaningful new friendships.
Nearly 400 elders will have a summer filled with friendship and unforgettable memories. All funds raised through Give65 and your generous support make this possible. Our programs, activities, events and services are always provided at no cost to the seniors we serve.
by Care Assurance System for the Aging and Homebound (CASA) of Madison County
Clients, family members, and caregivers contact us to help them address their aging issues and concerns. Our staff provides each client with a home visit to assess their individual situation, conduct a home safety check, and then provide each client with their own care management plan. CASA's goal is to provide needed direct services, at no cost to our clients, allowing them to remain in their own homes. We receive no reimbursements from Medicare, Medicaid, or insurance providers. We depend on local donations and community volunteers who deliver our services. The average CASA client's income is $1,010/month.
The concept of aging in place in its simplest form is growing older without having to move. It allows our local residents to remain as independent as they possibly can, regardless of their abilities, in homes that are safe and secure. That is the foundation of CASA's Aging in Place program. All assistance is provided at no cost to our clients, and CASA receives no reimbursement fees for any of these services. CASA currently serves 2,267 seniors and home-bound citizens.
CASA's Aging in Place program currently offers the following services:
Wheelchair Ramps, CASA Vegetable Garden, Grab Bars and Handrails, Safety Net Health Care Services, Friendly Visiting/Telephone Reassurance,
TEMP$ (Taking Energy Measures Personally = $avings), Information and Referral, Weather Assistance (A/Cs, fans), Transportation to Medical Appts.
Purpose: CASA's two primary areas of concern for our clients are safety and accessibility. Grab bars installed in and outside of their tub/shower by trained volunteers can prevent falls. For those who can no longer stand (for showering) or get up and out of the bathtub, a shower chair or tub transfer bench can make all the difference. This durable medical equipment (DME) is not covered by Medicare insurance and without CASA, most of our clients would be unable to purchase it, thus placing them at risk for falls.
Accessibility is the other barrier for many disabled or elderly clients. Going out to their mailbox can be fraught with safety concerns, especially if their front steps are without a handrail. CASA volunteers can also eliminate this risk for wheelchair-bound clients by constructing wheelchair ramps.