Across the country, there are millions of seniors living behind closed doors, rarely able to get out and seldom visited. Fortunately, through our Meals on Wheels program we can reduce their loneliness and isolation. We didn't just deliver close to 15,000 meals to homebound seniors in 2018, we provided daily check-ins and stimulating conversations. For many of these older adults, the interaction with our volunteer drivers may be the only personal interaction for that day or week and the volunteers often develop strong friendships with the people they serve.
We ask for your assistance in bringing hope for those most affected by isolation and loneliness, and to allow community seniors to age with dignity. The Meals on Wheels program is more than just a hot, nutritious meal; your generosity also contributes to the social interaction that is so important to a person's wellbeing.
Arlington Neighborhood Village helps seniors age in their own homes safely, while remaining connected to the community. Our amazing corps of volunteers provide direct services like transportation to appointments, daily check-in calls, help around the house, and walking buddies. To combat social isolation, ANV hosts get-togethers, a weekly speaker series, health and wellness activities, and interest groups like Spanish conversation, Tai Chi, and bocce.
ANV wants to ensure that Village membership is available to all seniors in our county, and that we can offer support to those members with lower incomes and those who become increasingly frail because of a health crisis. We target outreach to those with lower incomes through our Financial Aid Fund which pays 80% of the membership fee, and support our more frail members through our Care Manager Program that provides short term professional guidance for navigating a health crisis.
ANV's Financial Aid Fund
A founding principle of ANV is to serve all eligible Arlington residents who want to join, regardless of ability to pay. The Financial Aid Fund makes it possible for low income seniors in Arlington to have access to all services and programming. Eighteen percent of ANV's full members receive financial aid. ANV has yet to turn away a potential member because they cannot afford the $500 membership fee. We've been able to offer financial aid by raising money specifically for the Financial Aid Fund. In 2018, the Financial Aid Fund made it possible for 27 Arlington residents to become ANV members and access all services and social events.
Care Manager Program
This year, ANV launched a Care Manager Program to address health and safety challenges facing our older, more frail members, who are rapidly becoming a greater proportion of our membership. A number of ANV members have become increasingly frail and need services beyond what ANV typically provides. Other members are having a health crisis and need intense short-term support to regain their independence. These members don't know how to get the extra help they need.
ANV's Care Manager Program gives our most in-need members access to the services of a Care Manager. Identified members will spend 7-10 hours with a Care Manager which will include an initial assessment, a written plan of care with recommendations, and assistance in securing additional resources.
Two recent examples demonstrate the need for a plan of action when ANV's services are no longer enough to keep a member safe at home. First, volunteers reported concern for a member's health and safety - noting significant personal hygiene issues and challenging physical arrangements that ultimately resulted in a fall. The member was unsure of how to get additional support, but was adamant about staying in-place.
Another member, released from the hospital after a stroke, has no local family. ANV volunteers assisted with hospital discharge and were on-site in the initial days helping with medications, groceries, and other immediate needs. However, ANV volunteers do not provide personal care services. This member needed to better understand his current circumstances, medium-term needs, and the resources available to help him fully recover.
ANV's Care Manager has the experience and expertise to help these ANV members navigate the challenges associated with unexpected and often debilitating health crises, helping them to understand and tap into resources that can help them live safely and independently.
Your GIVE65 donations will support ANV's Financial Aid Fund, the Care Manager Program, and marketing and outreach activities that will help promote these initiatives.
Grandma and Grandpa need to go places, too! By providing a simple scooter, walker, or wheelchair to seniors in need, you can give them a bit of their independence back. Please consider a donation of $25 to assist our elders in the community who cannot afford this apparatus on their own. Thank you!
HESSCO has approximately 500 seniors over age 60 who receive Meals on Wheels through our nutrition program. For many of these seniors, HESSCO is the primary source of their nutrition on each day they receive the meal. When there is a weather emergency, the program sometimes cannot deliver meals. Throughout the year, HESSCO purchases shelf-stable emergency meals and delivers them to Meals on Wheels consumers. If HESSCO cannot deliver the hot noon meal due to weather, the seniors can consume their emergency meal. HESSCO also provides local police and fire departments with a supply of emergency meals. In 2018 winter season, HESSCO provided 2000 emergency meals. HESSCO will always work to ensure no senior is hungry. The expense of the emergency meals is not funded through any federal or state program and thus, HESSCO incurs the full cost because of our commitment to serve the nutrition needs of seniors.
On Thanksgiving and Christmas, HESSCO staff, Town of Walpole School Department staff, and other community groups volunteer their time to deliver a hot meal to any senior in our community who is alone for the holiday. These holiday meals provide the opportunity for an isolated senior to have a friendly visit with a volunteer and receive a hot, holiday meal. In 2018, HESSCO delivered over 150 meals on Thanksgiving and another 165 on Christmas. The meal is free to any senior and HESSCO incurs the cost of the food. The seniors who receive this meal express their gratitude through tears, hugs, smiles and holiday well-wishes. In 2018 one senior sent HESSCO a poem to express her thanks.