The winter months are notoriously harder on older adults, especially during this pandemic, which is why Mystic Valley Elder Services (MVES) stresses the importance of virtual and phone assessments, proper heating, physical checkups by your doctor, social interactions, even if we cannot do it face-to-face, transportation assistance and nutritious meals.
“Eating good, whole, nutritious foods in the winter months can go a long way in helping older adults regulate their body temperature and stay warm. For those who may not want to or lack the ability to cook, the Meals on Wheels program provides regular nutritious food,” says Mystic Valley Elder Services Registered Dietician Candace Quigley.
MVES’ Meals on Wheels program is dedicated to providing seniors with the necessary nutritional support to protect them against food insecurity, and to help them continue to live independent and fulfilling lives. MVES has provided home-delivered meals for more than 45 years.
“Meals on Wheels is for vulnerable older adults who require nutritional support to safely continue living in the community,” says Angie Fitzgerald, Director of Nutrition at Mystic Valley Elder Services. “Despite the challenges COVID-19 has brought, we has continued to serve home-delivered meals to consumers, and the number of those needing meals delivered has increased.”
Since the pandemic started nearly two years ago, the program is serving closer to 60,000 meals per month vs. 50,000 prior to the pandemic to home bound, frail older adults, many with significant health conditions or mental impairments, and not a serving day or meal has been missed.
The home-delivered meals service includes the following options as needed: chilled-to-be-heated noontime meals, cold-pack breakfast and supper, clinical diet meals, kosher meals, and frozen weekend meals. In some cases, we can provide cultural or ethnically preferred meals in certain communities.
“MVES’ Meals on Wheels program ensures that a friendly face of the driver and healthy meal arrives during the cold months and all year round to those who need this essential service to remain healthy, well fed, and safe in their homes,” explains Fitzgerald.
When providing the meals to the individual, drivers also offer regular check-ins—at a safe distance—to make sure the older adult is doing well during the cold weather. This can be done by a warm smile and welcoming wave.
If you are interested in knowing more about our Meals on Wheels program, please visit us at mves.org or call at 781-324-7705.