An average of 10,000 people turn 65-years-old every day. As people age, there are many concerns. One major concern is how to remain living independently at home. For almost 50 years, Meals on Wheels has helped to provide meals to homebound Americans whether it’s just for a short time as they recover from an injury or a long-term basis.
Meals on Wheels can deliver a hot meal to your door Monday to Friday and frozen meals for weekends or as a second meal. Participants can select options from a sandwich or salad menu if they prefer. Meals on Wheels also delivers nutritionals supplements if prescribed by your doctor.
Meals are delivered by drivers who offer a friendly face for participants. More than 60% of AgeWell Services Meals on Wheels participants report their only social contact is with their delivery driver. More than simply providing nutritious food, these daily safety checks also act as lifelines to stave off the isolation of living alone for many seniors.
The first step is to call (231)755-0434 or 1-800-442-6769. You will speak to an intake team member who will do a simple phone assessment to determine eligibility. To be eligible for Meals on Wheels provided by AgeWell Services, you’ll need to be 60 or over, homebound, and living in Oceana, Ottawa, or Muskegon counties. If you live outside of these counties, visit Meals on Wheels America to find an organization that delivers to your area.
AgeWell Services assists any age needing homebound meals. For those under 60, there is a minimum cost of $7.00 per meal.
What are your meal needs?
If you are found to be preliminarily eligible, the intake team member will discuss your meal needs. How often do you need a meal? Do the menus meet your dietary requirements? AgeWell Services is unable to provide special diet meals such as gluten free meals at this time.
The intake team member will ask if you would be interested in hot meals, salads, or sandwiches. Participants can change this option in the future if they wish. All meals do meet 1/3 of the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI) for older adults, have no added sodium, and are reviewed by a registered dietitian.
The preliminary assessment will determine how many meals you are eligible to receive. They will also go over your suggested donation amount at this time based upon your self-reported income. You will receive a monthly contribution statement based upon how many meals you receive that month and your determined suggested donation amount. This is a donation and it is optional, however, donations do play a crucial role in assisting the program with serving all participants who need meals. Suggested donations are typically a $3.50-$6.00 range. Any and all amounts will be appreciated. The assessment staff will also work with you and your family to arrange any other services you may need.
When will I begin receiving meals?
Once your eligibility has been determined, you will typically begin receiving meals within 48 hours.
Once you have started on the program, a trained assessor will contact you within 14 days. They will perform a more in-depth assessment. These assessments happen on a 6-month basis. They will determine if you are still eligible for the Meals on Wheels program or if you are eligible for more/less meals.