Nutrition for the Elderly

June 27, 2010

Food for Seniors
Note: Eating problems for Seniors

Senior Meals on Wheels (Michigan)
Note: Resources and services can vary for each state.

Nutrition for the Elderly

{ 76 comments… read them below or add one }

C-W March 4, 2011 at 5:30 pm

These videos open my eyes and really cuts deep because it makes me think what if that was my gradmother or grandfather.

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S-G February 27, 2011 at 9:28 pm

The Meals on Wheels program is awesome. Helping the elderly is an amazing thing to do. These videos make me sad for all of the seniors who have no one to depend on except strangers.

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SM February 26, 2011 at 5:52 pm

The Meals on Wheels is a program I hope never has to end. Not only do they receive a meal but they receive company, that is priceless. Loneliness, is something most seniors experience and to know they have a place to gather and see their friends, that alone gives them something to look forward too. Aot of elderly people live on fixed incomes and have little money left for food after the bills are paid.

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SM March 7, 2011 at 9:06 pm

SDM

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K-H February 24, 2011 at 7:56 pm

I think that we should be doing more for our senior citizens. It is not fair that we have young perfectly healthy people receiving welfare, food stamps, and WIC. Most are perfectly capable of working, they are just lazy. Yet we have elderly people who actually can’t get out and support themselves anymore going without. They don’t bring in enough money to live on each month. It is very sad to me.

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SRS February 23, 2011 at 6:48 pm

These videos brought back so many memories for me. When I was eighteen me and my best friend worked for the Senior Adult Center in Gurdon. We helped prepare the meals and sometimes we even helped to deliver them. We were a huge part of the activities that the seniors had each day. This job touched my heart in a way that I will always remember the elderly people I helped. I am in several charity organizations right now and I love being involved in each and every one of them. I will be calling and reuniting with our local meals on wheels organization very soon.

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E-A February 22, 2011 at 11:41 pm

Meals on wheels is an amazing program.Not all senior citizens have the luxury of a warm home cooked meal.With the change in thier age,nutritional needs changes too.I believe if we come together and individually do what we can for our senior citizens,their lives will be a whole lot easier.
EA

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B-N February 22, 2011 at 5:22 pm

I never realized what a big difference my grandmother coming over and eating can make. Almost always, when my dad cooks, we always invite my grandma to come over and eat with us.

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R-E February 22, 2011 at 3:36 pm

I always cook extra and my neighbor across the street is one of these people that does not like hand outs, but she sure enjoys the food that we take her. I believe that older people have different needs to keep energy and bone strength. Not all seniors are getting what they need.

RE

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R-E February 22, 2011 at 3:32 pm

JW-
I totally agree with you, seniors that can not afford the proper food and proper amounts should be able to get help from a nutrition specialist thru our local government. But I believe that the government thinks if they made it this long then they know how to eat. But at older ages they have different needs

RE

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C-S February 22, 2011 at 12:01 pm

When I was in nursing school 10 years ago, my ex father in law was the one to watch My sons during the day while I was in school , I made sure I used some of the food stamps I got to take him groceries, he only lived on 550 dollars a month and did not get any food stamps because he did not qualify! He sometimes had no more than a pack of hot dogs, and some bread, and water. I knew he would give the boys the food first, so I always brought him groceries every week, and I bought stuff that was easy for him to fix, but nutritious! I always got too much Milk on WIC, so I took him milk for the boys and him and some peanut butter and cereal…… I did not like being on assistance, but I knew It was helping more than me and my small family. After I became a nurse, I still took him groceries, that I paid for, because if it was not for him, I may have not made it through school.
It is not fair that young healthy girls can get all this assistance, but the elderly that worked all their lives to give us the life we have, can not even get a carton of milk. Things need to change.

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SM February 26, 2011 at 5:39 pm

I agree my parents live on a fixed income and have little money for groceries, so I help them with the food stamps I receive.

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SM March 7, 2011 at 9:07 pm

SDM.

jr February 22, 2011 at 9:30 am

I agree older people should be able to get government assistance for their meals. They were was hard working individuals who deserve in their older age to be taken care of by our GOVERNMENT, if the government can take care of other people then they can definitely take care of our elderly to insure they are getting the nutrients they need!

jr

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R-D February 21, 2011 at 10:47 pm

These videos reinforce the fact that the nutritional needs of senior citizens is just as important, and sometimes, as complex as the nutritional needs of an infant or toddler. As with all adults, changes in lifestyle usually means a change in nutritional needs.

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J-W February 21, 2011 at 5:20 pm

I think that seniors with a budget issue should be able to apply for government assistance just like pregnant women. Their bodies need the correct amount of nutrition and energy just as much as anyone else!

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Salvador V. November 30, 2010 at 8:08 am

15,000 pounds of food a week is a substatial amount. Meals on wheels impacts a lot of people with their generosity. Maybe they deserve gov’t funding.

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J-W February 21, 2011 at 5:17 pm

I believe they deserver every single penny they can get! This is a great organization and I have seen their work in action. Absolutely astounding :)

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C-S February 22, 2011 at 12:02 pm

OI think Meals on Wheels is a great program!!! I have gotten it for patients when they went home!

Krysten A November 29, 2010 at 11:21 pm

the elderly really do get the short end of the stick on a lot of things.

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Glen L October 13, 2010 at 10:51 pm

After working in a nursing home i completly understand that it is hard for elderly people to eat healthier, for a list of reasons imobility, knowledge, etc…… I do know just a couple of minutes a day with them around meal times could impact thier life. Whatching what they eat and helping them eat the right foods to get the proper nutrients they need is key. I am a big fan of meals on wheels i think it is an awsome program.

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Holly Bean October 8, 2010 at 11:02 pm

These videos were really amazing! I think this is a great program. It is sad that the elderly get the bad end of so many things and it is really great that this organization is helping. I am very close to my grandparents so I really like the fact I know this organization exists. I had never heard of them before, but i think what they are doing is great.

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Lacey H. October 8, 2010 at 6:54 pm

So my mother is on a fixed income and if it wasn’t for the meals on wheels and for food stamps she wouldn’t have anything to eat because after paying bills and buying her medicine she barely has enough to get through the month. Also another type of way an elderly can get food is through food banks that are set up. I liked the last two videos because it makes us understand how elderly people get by and also it helps us realize that we could be helping with feeding them by if we have extra just take it to someone you know that might be on a fixed income.

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Tyler B October 8, 2010 at 3:20 pm

These videos hit the nail on the head, I see all of this in my grandparents their still able to go in do things but time is takeing its toll on them their house is rundown even i cannot keep it up and their refrigerator is always empty so i wonder if they dont cook do they just eat out that can’t be good for them at all.

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Laken Teague October 6, 2010 at 11:46 pm

These videos show exactly what it is like for the elder. My grandma was a wonderful cook and she loved to do it. She started getting older and they had to remove her legs bacause of staph infections. This got her down and depressed because she could not do the things she used to do like cook for her self and she refused to eat. Of course she did not live alone but her home nurse could not get her to eat no matter what. I feel that if we would had let her choose where and what she wanted to do she would not had been this way. My family refused to put her in a nursing home and that is where she wanted to be because her friends were there.

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Taylor B October 6, 2010 at 7:36 pm

The second video seemed the best to me and most touching. Some seniors have trouble getting around and the only option is for it to be brought to them. I feel the goverment should support meals on wheels however necessary.

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Lindsey E October 1, 2010 at 1:42 pm

I like the meals on wheels. I see my grandparents about three times a week, have lunch with them and just visit. I can’t imagine the seniors out there who are alone and have no one left or family who just do not visit them. I think the senior citizens group is a good thing for these seniors in situations like that. It keeps you healthier mentally and physically to be able to get out and communicate and do things. I really do believe that meals are better if centerd around love, family and friends.

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Lauren D September 30, 2010 at 12:16 am

These videos really touched me. My grandmother raised me and is my best friend. I constantly worry about her and her health. I visit all the time but I still worry about her getting lonely. I think that this is an amazing organization and that they provide help and hope in the most inspiring way. Everyone deserves a helping hand these days and these people prove that there are still good people in the world. I’m going to look more into this organization and do what I can to provide more help.

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vera, A September 29, 2010 at 11:07 pm

i think the meals on wheels program is one of th best thingsa a county would ever offer to its elderly population.it would be wonderful if every county has that program.it sure saves lives.

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D Beard September 29, 2010 at 7:37 pm

i love the idea of meals on wheels. It such a good idea. sometimes the elder dont have family and cant take care of themselves. Its great to have a program of caring people to bring buy food. sometimes its the little things that brighten up someones day or more importantly their life

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Lauren D September 30, 2010 at 12:18 am

I think that this is an inspiration and that we should all pitch in to helping someone. I agree its the little things that can be the most inspiring and encouraging in someones life.

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devin r September 29, 2010 at 5:49 pm

Glad I’m not old yet! old people almost have to watch their diet more than pregnant women do! It’s so sad to think that so many seniors don’t have anyone left. :-( The meals don’t look too tasty, but they are healthy, and that is what matters. This clip was touching; meals on wheels is really a wonderful program.

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vera, A September 29, 2010 at 11:12 pm

we will all get old some day, God willing.what matters is being healthy in your old age and the best time to work on that is now, while we are still young @ least.

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Donnie H. September 29, 2010 at 5:42 pm

The video really brought back some memories of my home town Bearden, AR because at the lion’s club seniors could go eat free meals. The video was definitely informative because my wife and I will take meals to some of the elderly in the community. It’s good to know that getting a meal from community center our elderly will be getting a nutritious meal and in return retain good health.

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Marcie G September 29, 2010 at 2:34 pm

The videos are very informative about how the elderly eat. Most elderly people have so many different problems in their live so dependingtheir life styles and their eating habits. So if they eat alone they dont eat right. Even if they really dont have the ability or the acomadations to get or make their own food.

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Ashley M September 29, 2010 at 2:22 pm

Honestly, I have never thought of this issue before. I never knew that lifestyle change, inactivity, finance, appetite, medicine intake, emotional factors, and digestive system could cause such an decrease on how the elderly eat. I never knew at the age of 40 metabolism slows and taste diminishes this could be the leading cause of health risks. I loved the second video it gives elderly people an opportunity to eat healthy and balanced meals, interaction with others, and provides some protection for their lives. With help we can really change their lives either. By bringing them a meal, buying a little extra, contacting orgainizations, or just showing that we care could change everything.

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Debora M September 29, 2010 at 9:50 am

In the first video it talks about how seniors will not eat because they can’t cook, get the food or depression just to name a few. My grandpa has become more depressed over the last few months because he is getting to where he can’t do the things he could do just months ago. He says he has no desire to eat, that he’s just not hungry. I know he isn’t taking his medication right because he thinks he doesn’t need it, which worries me but I have to work and can’t be with him all the time and I am not the only grandchild, just the only one that worries. He lives alone but he still drives(which worries me too). I am trying now to get him to at least go to the senior adult center to eat lunch and for the company because I know he is lonely. I try to see him a couple of times a week and take him out to eat.

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Terrie H September 28, 2010 at 10:41 am

I like all of the videos.
Metabolism slowing is inevitable. I did not know your taste changes though. Or should I say had not noticed it.
Meals on wheels is a wonderful program. I believe with our country in the depression it is in, it is necessary for the common person to dig in do what they can to make sure and help their fellow man. Like video 3 said there are things you can do that are small to make a big difference. Buy extra, fruit or vegetables, cook extra, Call if you notice someone is shut in. The thing is people can make a difference. They just have to stop and notice what is going on around them.
Prescription drugs. That is the biggest money making scheme there is next to mental health. Please I went to get a prescription filled. For ten days one pill a day it was $110.00. I mean seriously, what is wrong here. I told them to keep it. Took care of the problem with home remedies and I am fine. Some cannot do this though.

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Madge C September 27, 2010 at 11:43 pm

In the first video I learned that our syliva decreases as we get older…..that explaind why I complain so much about dry mouth. At least now I know that it is associated with the natural process of ageing and not something more serrious.

I too loved the meals on Wheels video. Here in Hot Springs County the CADC Senior Center does the meals and serve over 200 people in this area each day. I have a friend that is a delivery driver and he said that he gets so much out of being able to visit with the seniors and he has even had them call in wondering where he was and how he was doing if he does not show up on their rout. So it is for nutritional purposes, in addition to being a “wellness” check too.

Yes you can make a change in as little as one minute or less. it only takes a few seconds to process the thought of how you yourself can bennifit seniors in your area. I know it sounds corny but, I have an “egg” minestry. I have about 20 chickens and get between 10 to 15 eggs a day, on Wed. and Sun. I carry my eggs to church and give them to the seniors in the congrigation. So many of them love the “fresh country” eggs and talk often of how they themselves used to have to collect them when they were youngsters.

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admin September 29, 2010 at 11:58 am

Good for you! I would love to have some fresh eggs.
We donated 100# of ground beef to Jackson House last year.
They were so appreciative. If we all help with some small thing it can really add up!

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Madge C October 2, 2010 at 9:40 pm

To me it as a small thing to do, yet it givs so much pleasure as well.

Jessi R. September 27, 2010 at 9:56 pm

I found the 2nd video to be most informative. I had never heard of Senior Meals on Wheels but I think what they are doing is wonderful. By the program preparing meals that are healthy seniors are more inclined to eat healthy at home as well but another benefit is that this program helps feed seniors who may not even be able to afford food for their homes. These are not the only benifits though, another positive aspect of Senior Meals on Wheels is that it inspires seniors to get out and have more of a social life and allows friendship to form which can have a positive impact on health and mood. Overall I think it is a great program.

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JHR July 29, 2010 at 2:01 pm

I love the Meals On Wheels!!!! it’s a wonderful program, It caters to what the elderly need. Friends, Food and Fun!!!! I wish this was a Nation wide program!

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MEL July 13, 2010 at 10:58 pm

Wow. I’ve never heard of Meals On Wheels before but I think its an awesome idea! Its sad to think of how many old people that can’t get the right kind of food but this is really a great way to help them out. It would be great if more elderly people could get this.

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Lacey H. October 8, 2010 at 7:00 pm

My mom is on it and I’m not sure how she got to be on it but I’m sure there is someone that would know how to get it set up for someone that you may know.

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RTP July 11, 2010 at 1:35 pm

I enjoyed the second video most. I think the food assistance programs are very important because they provide a valuable resource for seniors and maybe younger individuals who have become immobile.

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SDS July 10, 2010 at 10:37 am

I don’t ever think about doing extra cooking or extra grocery shopping and to give to seniors. I just assumed that Senior citizens would be okay since they have retired and I think of retirement as a permenant vacation, but according to the video that is not the case. I will have to contribute in helping needy senior citizens.

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SDS July 5, 2010 at 12:56 am

Senior Meals on Wheels

I believe the Meals on Wheels program is great for Senior Citizens. Especially since some elderly people cannot afford groceries, or may not have transportation to get to a grocery store. Some elderly people rely on the Meals on Wheels pantry to socialize and I didn’t even know a patry existed. I think a place for an elder person to get free meals is wonderful that way they can still get all the nutrients they need to stay healthy and still maintain a balanced diet. Some elderly people rely on this program and would be lost without it. I need to look more in to the Meals on Wheels Program in Arkansas, I wouldn’t mind putting in a couple of volunteer hours a week.

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SDS July 4, 2010 at 9:49 pm

In the first video Food for Seniors- Eating Problems for Seniors
I really like the topics that are being discussed, however, looking at the videos I am not looking forward to being a senior. The urge to eat decreases along with the sense to taste and smell. Seniors produce less saliva and the metabolism decrease causing weight gain. Emotional factors and lonliness also cause an elderly person to change their eating habbits. This is really sad and I am not looking forward to being old, the first video to me is very depressing.
What do you guys think?
SDS

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SDH July 2, 2010 at 10:35 pm

The first video presented one point that I was not aware of and that is our Metabolism starting to decline after age 40. I know that one of my grandmothers made a comment that after she retired and was no longer active she began to gain weight. Being active and exercise of some type is important for everyone. The Meal on Wheels is a really good program and serves a lot of people in our community. I remember hearing my great-grandfather telling about some of his friends that bought Ramen Noodles, bread, milk,off brand cereal and soup because that is all they could afford. The one meal from the Senior Center gave them the proper nutrition they needed. The ones that go to the center and play games, I understand that they win prizes which are food items. That is a good idea and helps each senior that particpates. My great-grandfather lived 8 years after his wife died and he was not a cook. My grandmother carried food to him, had him over to eat, however there are so many seniors that don’t have any family, no means of transportation and the Meal On Wheels is great for them. I thought the idea of making extra food when preparing your meal to share with an elderly person is a great idea and to pick up some fruit as well. We have a Senior Companion program where someone is assigned to a senior that doesn’t have transportation. The companion goes over for 2 hours several times a week to visit, or get a list of things they need at the grocery or pharmacy. They can take them to the doctor, if able they take them to do their own shopping. This gives them a friend, means to get around and someone to look after them. My great-grandmother was a Senior Companion before she passed away.

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admin July 1, 2010 at 9:08 pm

You would be surprised how many seniors elect not to get Meals on Wheels even though they are qualified. Pride you think? I think many are of the generation that is reluctant to accept help from strangers.

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SDH July 2, 2010 at 10:39 pm

I agree with your comment about how many seniors will not sign up for the meals. My great-grandparents said that they could provide for themselves enough and there were far too many that needed it more than they did.

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Terrie H September 28, 2010 at 10:30 am

Sad but true. They feel they are better off than the next person may be. Or they will not take a hand out.

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Debora M September 29, 2010 at 9:45 am

My grandpa is a very picky eater and doesn’t like the meals. I have asked him time and time again to let me get him on the program. He was on it once before but stopped it because he didn’t like the food. I think you are right to about the pride, he feels like he doesn’t need it, even though in the last few months I have watched him wasting away.

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Ashley M October 14, 2010 at 4:09 pm

I really have to agree with you on seniors being too prideful to ask for some type of assitance. I think that is because, they have had to be independent their whole life and asking for help was never an option. Stubborness is also a factor expecially when it comes my grandpa. He doesnt want any worrying about him, taking care of him, or trying to help. Even though he has suffered from diabeates since his was 19 and has no lower limbs and confined to a wheelchair, he still “trys” to do everything himself.

SAF July 1, 2010 at 6:57 pm

The second video is really good. My great aunt got really bad mentally towards the end of her life about a year ago and she could cook other than using a microwave. We had her put on the meals on wheels program and it made a world of difference. She could still feel like she was getting a good meal.

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QAL July 1, 2010 at 11:10 am

We should all take a active role in the nutrition of any seniors that are in our lives. Seniors should have food with the necessary nutrients readily available to them. Meals on Wheels is an excellent way to make sure that any senior in our lives is getting well balanced meals .

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Beth McRaven June 30, 2010 at 5:03 pm

I hate the fact that after forty our metabolism slows and taste diminishes. I need all the help I can get in terms of metabolism. However I supose that it makes sense that as we get older our functions slow. I however supose that taste diminishes because the tastebuds wear out! Does our sense of smell diminish too as we get older?
I am not surprised that meals on wheels has a senior division. I love them! This is a group that really needs not only meals but the company. I have always said that this is the group I would like to volunteer with. The thought of senior’s, in particular, needing food seems to hit me really hard. I t makes sense that as we get onto very limited budgets as seniors that an area that would take a serious cut would be healthy (more expensive) foods. And of course this is happening at a time where they need all the benifits of sound nutrition.

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LMM June 30, 2010 at 2:26 pm

The cost of living is making it harder and harder on seniors to survive on their own. Healthy food doesn’t come cheap & most healthy food has to be prepared which is something most seniors just aren’t physically able to do.

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RLM June 30, 2010 at 12:43 pm

I used to clean a woman’s house every week that received Meal on Wheels it was the only food other than a peanut butter & jelly sandwich that she received in a day. She did not cook for fear of her safety with a gas stove. This program really hepls.

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JEB June 29, 2010 at 10:53 am

It’s very true that seniors will not get to eat right and that the meds that they take are very expensive. I know that some of them have insurance and that the new thing at Walmart and Kroger will help in that area but to think of the ones that can’t get out and the ones who live alone is really sad. They can spend many years with a spouse and then when he or she passes they are left alone and sometimes no one to care. I like the idea of the meals on wheels this seems to be a great benifit for them I think they should do stuff like that around here and also provide more services like sending someone over to just visit or to eat with them ect…
I know that we have some type of service here that picks up and drops off my elderly neighbor but not sure exactly what they do. In short I really like the idea and it’s very sad to see them I am glad that our church does something like that never really seen the importance till now.

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LMM June 30, 2010 at 2:27 pm

Meals on wheels is a great program. For some people, it may be their only meal.

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Madge C September 27, 2010 at 11:49 pm

It is a sad but true fact. But thank God that there is help and it is literaly only a phone call away. You yourself can make a referal and a helping hand will be extended, now thats awesome.

sarina m. September 29, 2010 at 10:01 pm

yes but there is other programs out there like the master table and other thats helps with feeding people

Beth McRaven June 30, 2010 at 5:08 pm

These were great videos. It got right to the point and straight from the people that need help or those who are donating their time to help. It is something that I don’t think about on a daily basis. However, if we are lucky, growing old happens to all of us and what if you do end up alone in your later years? How are you, on a fixed income, going to make sure that all your needs are met year round. I must say this was a real, sad, eyeopener. I am absolutely going to help with meals on wheels.

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LNS June 28, 2010 at 1:47 pm

Yes I agree the second video was the best out of the three. I love the idea of Meals on Wheels. My grandmother had open heart surgery in March and with her recovering this program did her wonders (well both of my grandmothers one open heart the other hip replacement) They both participated in this program. Yes it was a wonderful feeling to know that reguardless of what else they were recovering from she got good healthy meals. I agree completely a fixed income and prescripition prices along with gas prices makes the life for a senior very difficult. That is sad because for the hard life they have lived they get the short ends of the straws sometimes

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QAL July 1, 2010 at 11:13 am

My grandmother also was put into the Meals on Wheels program after her open heart surgery. I liked that the meals were made for seniors that are diabetics, because she often ate things that were she was not supposed to as a diabetic.

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SDH July 2, 2010 at 11:05 pm

I agree about the comment of the fixed income and prices of prescription medication increasing being a factor in them not getting proper nutritition due to not having the extra money for food much less healthly meals which are more expensive. My great-grandfather refused one of his prescriptions one day because it was going to cost $480.00, he was in the gap which means they pay full price till they reach their set amount and then they go back to getting that $480.00 prescription for $30.00. I told my grandmother what he did and she went to the pharmacy and got the medication. Think about how many seniors refuse the medicine they need or take it less often to make it go longer before having to refill, which is causing them to not get the necessary results from the medicine.

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ARB June 28, 2010 at 1:01 am

The second video was by far the best of the three. The meals on wheels program is good for seniors and it sounds like the only option for some. It seems like a program that should be given whatever funding needed by the government.

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RTP July 11, 2010 at 1:36 pm

I agree. Those are great programs that provide a much needed service.

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Madge C September 27, 2010 at 11:47 pm

I agree. You should see the packed out house each day at our local Senior Center. It is awesome to me, they always stand as a collective group and pray over their meal then sit to enjoy it along with others that are there. Here also they play interactive games and have weekly auctions . It is pretty cool. And of course there is the Meals on Wheels also. I am proud of what our county does for our Senior citizens.

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AAA June 28, 2010 at 12:57 am

Expenses has alot to do with their eating habits changing. Being on a fixed income can hinder alot of things

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JHR July 29, 2010 at 1:57 pm

My grandparents have that issue. They are both retired and what little bit of income they have, it really isn’t enough to buy all of the foods they need.

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Salvador V. November 30, 2010 at 8:05 am

Definately. A fixed income can affect their eating, madeical care, and medications. All which are very important to senior citizens.

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J-H March 4, 2011 at 1:42 pm

my landlord has parkensons and his wife has alzthimers and they have no one around family wise to help them. I know that they get some meals from meals on wheels but i was thinking about what the 2nd video said and I think it is a good idea to start cooking just a little extra and sending it over there to his house i think he will appreciate it instead of it going to waste.

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MIA March 13, 2011 at 10:32 pm

Money has alot to do with it. Its hard for some people that are alone to feel hungry when they are depressed.They just end up sitting there not eating and haveing bad health. M-S

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