March 30, 2021
LINKS2CARE MEALS ON WHEELS HELP KEEP SENIORS CONNECTED TO OUR COMMUNITY
March 22-26 was March for Meals Community Champions Week, a celebration of Meals on Wheels and our senior neighbours who rely on this essential service to remain healthy and independent at home. As the Halton Hills’ MOW provider, Links2Care’s goal is to garner support to fill the gap between seniors served and those still in need, now even more so during the pandemic. We were honoured to have Halton Hills Mayor Rick Bonnette champion our program on Friday, March 26, by delivering a meal to longtime Georgetown client, Mavis Nicholson, alongside Halton Hills Councillor, Wendy Farrow-Reed who also moonlights weekly as one of our enthusiastic Meals volunteer.
Mavis signed up with Links2Care in 2015 at the urging of her doctor. Less able and motivated to cook for herself, Mavis was buying frozen TV dinners which the doctor warned were too high in salt and sugar. Mavis now enjoys breakfast and a hot lunch daily, as well as a variety of frozen meals delivered by volunteers she now calls friends. “All the food is very good (especially the meat pie with carrots!), but what I really like is the people”, emphasizes Mavis. “The volunteers and staff provide excellent, personal service and really show they care. The Coordinator, Brenda Peddie, is such a sweetheart, she even slips me butter tarts because she knows they’re my favourite!”
Meals on Wheels does deliver so much more than a subsidized, nutritious meal. Social connection and wellness checks can flag otherwise undetected issues and facilitate links to additional support thereby reducing reliance on emergency rooms, hospitals, and long-term care. And the flexibility, variety, and quality are wonderful added bonuses!
“Seniors like me are all alone a lot of the time, so having someone to talk to even for five minutes can be a lifesaver.” Mavis says a PSW helps with personal care and a wonderful neighbour assists with appointments, so she may not need Links2Care’s Friendly Visiting, Phone Assurance or Shop & Drop, but sure recognizes their importance. So much so that she has volunteered to talk to local seniors as a Links2Care cheerleader. “They need to hear it from someone who receives and loves the services.”
To demonstrate the personal touch, Mavis tells how one day, in passing, she commented to Brenda that she could not afford new teeth. Brenda brought this funding gap to the attention of Links2Care’s leadership and was given the go ahead to use some funds raised through our annual Coldest Night of the Year walkathon to cover the cost. “I didn’t even know that was possible! It was such a nice surprise. But I have to say, even though my new soft diet spaghetti and mac & cheese meals are lovely, I can’t wait to get back to my meat meals”, laughs Mavis.
In her time, Mavis selflessly helped others through her own non-profit, equine therapy centre for people with disabilities and certainly deserves to be respected and repaid in kind for her valuable contributions to our society. In fact, so do all older adults. With research warning of rising risk factors to wellbeing and quality of life such as isolation, anxiety, mobility limitations, poverty, and food insecurity, and with the pandemic further cutting off access to social networks and health care, it is essential that programs such as Meals on Wheels continue to thrive to ensure our senior neighbours don’t fall through the cracks.
To order meals, purchase gift certificates, donate or for more information about Links2Care, email [email protected] or call 905-873-6502.