It’s So Much More Than a Meal

[September 2021 | By Eva Veitch, Region 10 Community Living Services Program Director]

Region 10’s Area Agency on Aging provides a senior nutrition program in 7 communities and a hot meal program in Montrose. Obviously, the number goal is providing hot, nutritious meals to those over age 60; secondarily is providing a check-in to homebound seniors. We remind volunteers that they may be the only human contact that individual has that day; so please take a couple of minutes to chat.

These programs are blessed with amazing dedicated and compassionate volunteers. Some volunteer a few times a month, others help several times a week. They follow up with us if they have concerns about one of their people and through this connection, we can increase supports. Just today one of the volunteers reported that one of her ladies did not answer the door so she tried calling her, no response there either. Joy was very concerned that her person might be laying on the floor needing help, so she called the coordinator. This time it ended well, and the lady just forgot to call and cancel because she had an appointment.

These scenarios often lead to a call to family or a welfare check, occasionally a trip to the ER that would have been delayed were it not for the attempted delivery of a meal. The time commitment is generally 45-90 minutes, and we try to schedule volunteers for the same route each time so they can develop a relationship with their special people. The people receiving meals are always grateful for the food but especially appreciative of the volunteers who deliver them.

We need regular volunteers and back up volunteers who can help as needed to cover vacations and illness. The communities served are Delta, Cedaredge, Paonia, Hotchkiss, Olathe, Montrose, Nucla and Norwood. Volunteers over age 55 qualify for our RSVP (Region 10 Senior Volunteer Program) and can be reimbursed for mileage.

We also need volunteers to help at Sharing Ministries, and with the Handy Helper Program. Handy Helpers will help with building wheelchair ramps, installing grab bars, changing furnace filters and other basic home maintenance that help ensure the safety of older adults. Please help spread the word about these important volunteer opportunities.