Having Choices Improves the Well-being of Homebound Seniors

Every day, we are presented with choices. A lot of them are so seemingly small that we don’t notice just how many decisions we face.

What did you wear today? What time did you leave the house? Where did you go? What did you eat?

While these kinds of decisions are often routine, some people do not have many options throughout the day. Homebound seniors and individuals with disabilities can face limited choices due to physical restrictions that do not allow for them to perform certain daily tasks, like traveling outside of their homes or preparing meals.

Choices and Well-being

Having few options affects our well-being. Choice drives independence. The ability to make decisions about our lifestyles, diets, and actions empower us.

When these decisions are stripped away, feelings of powerlessness can lead to mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.

To prevent isolation, malnutrition, and mental health issues in homebound seniors, community programs and nonprofits like Meals on Wheels provide home-delivered meals and wellness checks.

Trained drivers bring hot, nutritious meals to the doorsteps of homebound seniors who have a difficult time cooking for themselves. The program, funded in part by the Older Americans Act, allows them to remain in their own homes instead of moving into a nursing facility.

A mother and daughter’s experience

Norma Jean and Anna Meals on Wheels

Norma Jean and her daughter Anna live in same Akron apartment housing complex. Each week, they receive home-delivered meals from VANTAGE Meals on Wheels. The service allows them to remain close to each other, live independently, and share meals together.

VANTAGE Meals on Wheels offers a unique choice menu, which allows individuals to choose what they want to eat and mix and match items on the menu. This, says Anna, makes all the difference when it comes to both getting the right nutrition and enjoying meals.

Often, the mother and daughter explore different combinations of meals and add other foods to best fit their preferences. They are continuously finding new ways to enjoy their home-delivered meals.

In the past, Norma Jean and Anna have tried 7 other home-delivered meal programs, but they were not happy with what they received. They often got the same meal for weeks at a time and were unable to mix the different parts of their meals because of how the meals where packaged.

Tired of limited choices, they switched to Meals on Wheels. The change came with the ability to choose their meals from a menu that considered both dietary needs and personal preferences. Now, Norma Jean and Anna choose what they want to eat and when they eat their meals.

Why choice matters to homebound seniors

One of the most powerful aspects of Meals on Wheels is that seniors are able to choose what they eat. Meals on Wheels clients can select different main dishes, sides, desserts, and beverages from a rotating menu.

On a weekly or biweekly schedule, they receive all of their food items, which are prepared, cooked, and flash frozen in the VANTAGE Meals on Wheels kitchen. Throughout the week, clients can simply heat up the meals they want to eat.

Anna and her mother Norma Jean are 2 of about 650 people who receive Meals on Wheels home-delivered meals from VANTAGE. Annually, the program serves over 230,000 meals to Summit County seniors and people with disabilities.

Home-delivered Meals on Wheels helps those who have a difficult time getting to the grocery store and preparing meals.

As we grow older, physical restrictions such as poor balance, low strength, and weaker eyesight can become more likely, making it harder to cook. Without the ability to make meals, seniors don’t receive the nutrition they need to be healthy and independent.

Home-delivered meals help older adults stay in their own homes and not have to prematurely move into a nursing home. With a choice menu, homebound seniors don’t just get the nutrition they need. Mealtime also becomes a positive experience to look forward to, providing a fuller lifestyle.

Could you or someone you know use Meals on Wheels home delivery? Fill out this short contact form and we will get you started with a free sample. Or, call 330-785-9770.

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