One of the most gratifying aspects of working at Meals on Wheels Diablo Region
is hearing stories of how our efforts have affected the lives of our clients.
In the late 1940s, 15-year-old Maurice was so inspired to serve his country that he lied about his age to join the service. Through his military career, he traveled the world --especially enjoying his time in Germany. Maurice talked about his time in the army with pride.
When Maurice was 21 he married the love of his life, Hazel. The two became inseparable--raising a family, joining a ministry together, building a fulfilling life.
As Maurice aged, he began to face medical issues. The life he and Hazel had built became more challenging as she was faced with his full-time care and little support.
Navigating resources available to seniors wasn’t something Hazel was comfortable with, so she called MOWDR. Our Meals on Wheels program began delivering meals to the couple. Once we were invited into the home, our Care Management staff connected Hazel with the in-home supportive services Maurice required. When our Fall Prevention program was asked to assess Maurice’s balance issues, Hazel joined her husband in our recommended exercise program to keep him motivated. To keep Hazel from becoming isolated and feeling alone, our Friendly Visitors program has matched her with a weekly volunteer visitor.
Coordinated Care--it’s a phrase that means our support model provides an umbrella of services to meet the variety of needs seniors face. Industry terminology aside, seniors like Maurice and Hazel are why we do what we do in the community.
This is the story of two lovely ladies, Virginia and Ginny. They are 107 and 85 years old and are mother and daughter.
After Ginny grew up and moved away, the two remained close. Virginia loved sewing and volunteered for her local hospital and church group. Ginny studied art and art history and enjoyed painting with watercolors and acrylics.
While the ladies settled in different Contra Costa County cities, ten years ago they decided that Ginny would move into Virginia’s San Ramon home. Virginia’s hearing and eyesight had diminished to the point where she didn’t feel safe living alone anymore, so both felt relieved that Ginny could offer her support.
Virginia and Ginny attended a senior center Fall Prevention presentation and requested an in-home assessment. Virginia had fallen on the stairs leading into their garage and had broken a bone in her wrist. Ginny uses a walker to maintain her balance and mobility. Both felt the stairs were unsafe and were hoping our Fall Prevention program could help.
The stairs have now been replaced by a Fall Prevention program contractor, and the ladies couldn’t be more thrilled. “Glorious, glorious stairs!” Ginny exclaims when talking about the reconstruction project.
In addition, the ladies signed up Virginia for meal deliveries. Weekday meal delivery offers respite to Ginny and means she can stand for a shorter period of time while preparing only her own meal. Virginia says, “I enjoy waiting for the meals and seeing what’s there... and the occasional dessert!” Adds Ginny, “Mother especially enjoys engaging the volunteers in a little conversation. They are always very friendly.”
‘More Than a Meal’ is more than just our slogan. It’s why seniors like Virginia and Ginny can live safely and independently in their homes for longer, and it’s why the support we offer is critical to seniors throughout Contra Costa County.