Older adults that feel lonely skip 224 meals per year

‘Home Instead’ and ‘Meals on Wheels’ fight isolation epidemic among the elderly.
Published: Jul. 6, 2023 at 7:11 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - A study conducted by in-home care provider Home Instead, reported older adults who feel lonely skip 224 meals per year.

Meals on Wheels volunteers fight the isolation epidemic among the elderly and disabled. Cindy Willkom has volunteered for Meals on Wheels for years. She started in 1973 when she was a senior in high school, and when life got “hazy,” she just knew no matter what, she wanted to help people.

“So, I was like what is it I want to do, and I thought, go back to Meals on Wheels. Now I really get what I’m doing, I don’t just stay there and just deliver the meal and leave. I stay and visit with all of those people,” Willkom said.

Many Meals on Wheels recipients cannot cook on their own and some don’t have family to help or keep them company.

“Interaction daily with them makes a huge difference, maybe even for the meal itself, it goes a long way,” Willkom said.

Neville Davidson has been receiving Meals on Wheels for ten years after his wife was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

“Me being blind, that oven over there scared me to death,” Davidson said.

Davidson found that Meals on Wheels doesn’t just provide a nutritious meal, the visits can be life-saving.

“She said ‘Neville I smell gas’. I had barely been in the house all day so I didn’t notice it; thank you for Meals on Wheels, not for delivering meals, but taking care of me,” Davidson said.

Davidson has formed friendships with his daily volunteers.

“I wanna hug these people. I look forward to seeing them so much,” Davidson said.

Enjoying meals with your loved ones is an important way to avoid loneliness, especially with elders.