Programs

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Home-Delivered Meals | Case Management | Client Services | Friend-to-Friend | Supplemental Food | Errands | Companion Pet Meals | Nutrition

Meals On Wheels, Inc. of Tarrant County provides more than just a nutritious meal. While the Home-Delivered Meals program is at the heart of everything we do, we have established a number of ancillary programs to meet specific needs within the community. These programs address issues ranging from senior isolation to unsafe living conditions to a variety of nutrition programs that help our clients manage chronic health issues. Each client is assigned to a case manager who makes quarterly check-up visits to gauge the client’s progress. As part of that discussion, the case manager will note specific needs and recommend the client to one of our ancillary programs.  Since Meals On Wheels works closely with a number of other charitable organizations, we can also make referrals to other resources within the community.

Home-Delivered Meals

Meals On Wheels, Inc. of Tarrant County provides nutritionally-balanced, home-delivered breakfast and noon meals to homebound elderly and disabled citizens of Tarrant County. Meals are typically delivered Monday through Friday.  Some clients need a greater level of care and qualify for breakfast and weekend meals in addition to our regular noontime meal.  The meals are delivered to the client’s door by trained volunteers, who are often the only people our clients see on a daily basis.  Home-delivered meals are available to those who reside in Tarrant County, Texas, who are homebound for any length of time, are physically or mentally unable to prepare nutritious meals for themselves, and have no one to help them on a regular basis. We prepare and deliver more than 3,700 nutritious meals each day right here in Tarrant County.

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Case Management

volunteer delivers mealEach client and prospective client is assigned to a professional case manager who assesses the client’s needs, coordinates other needed services, and advocates for the client with other agencies. All clients are re-certified for the program on a quarterly basis. The case manager is also the client’s link to accessing and receiving other services within the community.

Our case managers are trained to assess all clients for any needs they may have. Our first priority is always providing a nourishing noon meal, but the case managers do much more than assess clients concerning meals. They determine if clients need other services that we can provide or coordinate with other service providers. We see every client at least four times per year.

We assist clients with fans, air conditioners, and heaters. We process applications that allow low-income clients to occasionally have their utility bills paid. We arrange for our clients to borrow, indefinitely and at no cost, equipment such as walkers, commode chairs, and bath rails. We check on clients when we are concerned about their safety. Our case managers help to greatly improve the quality of our clients’ lives, allowing them to live in their own homes for as long as possible.
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Client Services

Through our Client Services program, we are able to provide support to homebound elderly and disabled meal recipient who need assistance with minor home repairs and safety issues that will help to keep them at home in a safe and healthy environment. This program is considered a “last resort” resource when the client desperately needs something and has no other resources available.

client receiving home delivered mealOur first priority is always providing a nourishing noon meal, but each client’s case manager also determines if other services are needed that we can coordinate or arrange. Clients are visited in their home so that case managers can assess their environment and ability to live independently. The case managers ask questions related to activities of daily living, nutrition, and physical and mental well being along with what resources (financial and family) clients have available to help them.

Client Services assistance is specific; therefore, once an item is provided, the client’s level of impairment is immediately improved. Case managers continue to evaluate each client on a regular basis to determine if there are any additional needs.

This program is partially funded by local businesses that provide assistance with minor plumbing, electrical, roofing, tree trimming, home repairs, and other tasks on a pro-bono basis. We also use specific donations from the public and local businesses to purchase, deliver, and install fans, air conditioners, walkers, wheelchairs, blankets, supplemental food, adult incontinence supplies, lap pads, microwave ovens, hand-held grabbers, house slippers, toiletries, etc.

We search out and coordinate with every program available to ensure that existing resources are used first. This process is like a maze to our clients, so our help gets them what they need much quicker and possibly in a safer way.
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The following fall under the client services program:

Friend-to-Friend Program

The Friend-to-Friend program is designed to help combat the loneliness and isolation of our homebound clients. Volunteers are encouraged to build friendships with lonely clients by making weekly in-home or telephone visits.  Many of our clients have no visitors except for the person who delivers their meal each day. As a society, we tend to ignore our most seasoned members. These individuals have been productive members of society for many years and have interesting stories and experiences to share with anyone who will take the time to listen.

Friend to Friend ProgramYou can enhance someone’s life by simply being a friend to an elderly or disabled person who may have no other visitors. At first, you can talk about the weather, a good book, or current events. The great thing about friendship is that these conversations will develop and become more meaningful to both you and the client. We have had numerous volunteers tell us that they get more out of the friendship than they could ever hope to give the client.  Plus, your weekly visit gives us one more set of eyes to check on the well-being of our clients.  If you notice a change in the client’s health or behavior, you can alert Meals On Wheels so that we can follow up with the client. These additional safety checks give everyone involved an added peace of mind.

To ensure the safety of our clients, each Friend-to-Friend volunteer must pass a short background check. After that, we will put you in contact with someone in your area. For more information on this program or to become a volunteer, contact Randee Kaitcer via email or by calling 817-258-6433.
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Supplemental Food

Food supplied by local food banks and church pantries is distributed to meal recipients who need more food assistance than can be delivered through the daily meal program.
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Errands Program

Volunteers are matched with clients who need someone to shop for groceries, prescriptions, or other items on their behalf.
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Companion Pet Meals

meals on wheels client with petYears ago, we learned that an alarming number of our elderly and disabled clients were not eating all of their nutritious meal, but actually sharing it with their pets! This is a real problem for clients who live on a minimal income and desperately need the full nutritional benefits of our meals, not to mention the fact that our meals are not always healthy for the pets. Clients who have difficulty adequately feeding their cat or dog may receive supplemental pet food at no charge.
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Nutrition Programs

These programs are designed to help clients with specific nutrition needs. They are partially funded by United Way and carried out by our dietitians.

 

HAIL – Healthy Aging and Independent Living

Through our HAIL program, we aim to keep people healthy at home and reduce preventable hospitalizations and emergency room visits, ultimately saving valuable taxpayer dollars.  Clients must be age 35 years or older and have either a diagnosis of diabetes or be at risk of developing diabetes, or be at increased nutritional risk.

Goals with projected outcomes:

  • Reduce hospitalizations and emergency room visits by 10% or more for six months after intervention compared with six months before intervention
  • Enhance health status and capacity for self-care
  • Meet behavioral change goals
  • Report greater confidence in dealing with their health issue(s)

Public benefit – based on four of the diseases found most often in our clients, the average cost of hospitalization in Tarrant County is $27,000.  Independent program evaluators found a 42% reduction in hospital stays among program participants, potentially saving Tarrant County taxpayers millions of dollars annually.

To learn more about the HAIL program, contact us at 817-258-6427 or via email at mailto:nutrition@mealsonwheels.org

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HomeMeds – Medication Management

The HomeMeds program was established to prevent falls and hospitalization due to medication errors and adverse drug effects among older adults.  The risk for severe reactions and interactions, medication errors, and medication duplications are found at an alarming rate among the senior population. Through this program, we are able to save lives and health care dollars by identifying serious drug reactions and help eliminate the need for our clients to visit hospitals because of problems with their medication.

All prescriptions, vitamins, and herbal supplements are reviewed to identify any medication errors or adverse drug effects.  These findings are then discussed with the client.  This program is especially beneficial to people who:

  • Go to multiple doctors or pharmacies
  • Take over-the-counter medications
  • Have experienced falls, dizziness or confusion
  • Have recently been to the hospital
  • Feel overwhelmed with obtaining or taking their medications

To learn more about the HomeMeds program, contact us at 817-258-6427 or via email at mailto:nutrition@mealsonwheels.org

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