Senior Edition: Making deliveries happen


By Wende Kluener - For PCCOA



Drivers, left to right: Penny, James, Rosa, Pat, Shirley, Paul, Traci.

Drivers, left to right: Penny, James, Rosa, Pat, Shirley, Paul, Traci.


Stacey Fullmer, Senior Center Manager (a.k.a. Wonder Woman)

Drivers, left to right: Penny, James, Rosa, Pat, Shirley, Paul, Traci.


Stacey Fullmer, Senior Center Manager (a.k.a. Wonder Woman)

The kitchen team preparing meals.


Stacey Fullmer, Senior Center Manager (a.k.a. Wonder Woman)

Kitchen team, left to right: Bev, Karen, Cody, Cheryl.


Stacey Fullmer, Senior Center Manager (a.k.a. Wonder Woman)

Severe winter conditions impacted delivery.


Stacey Fullmer, Senior Center Manager (a.k.a. Wonder Woman)

Severe winter conditions impacted delivery.


Stacey Fullmer, Senior Center Manager (a.k.a. Wonder Woman)

PREBLE COUNTY — The Preble County Council on Aging has several great opportunities for seniors.

How Does Meals on Wheels Work?

The USDA defines food security as “access by all people at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life.” Food insecurity is divided into low and very low food security. For low food security, a person reports reduced quality, variety or desirability in the diet with little or no reduced food intake. For very low food security, a person reports multiple disrupted eating patterns or reduced food intake. National experts use these definitions in federal and academic surveys and literature.

Who can qualify? What are the measures taken to determine who is eligible?

Home-delivered meals programs (HDMs) may offer “more than a meal.” Research sponsored by AARP Foundation with individuals enrolled in programs represented by Meals on Wheels America investigated the impact of meal delivery on the health and well-being of adults age 60 and above. It found that:

Those receiving and/or requesting HDMs are significantly more vulnerable than a nationally representative sample.

Those who received daily HDMs experienced the greatest improvements in health and quality of life.

Those who received daily delivered meals reported greater benefits when compared to a group receiving frozen meals.

Those who live alone and received HDMs were more likely to report decreases in worry about being able to continue to live at home, and improvements in feelings of isolation and loneliness compared to other groups.

The staff at the Preble County Council on Aging (PCCOA) works with each senior age 60 and above, by carefully assessing their individual need based on a prepared prioritization tool provided by the PCCOA.

We assess age, low income status, nutrition risk, IADLs (Instrumental Activities of Daily Living,) ADLs (Activities of Daily Living,) living situation, mobility and handicaps. Usually this assessment and series of questions takes place in person, but due to the social distancing requirements, we conduct phone interviews at this time.

Assessing the level of ADLs and IADLs coupled with a nutritional checklist (form ODA0010) from the Ohio Department of Aging assists our team with determining if you or a loved one is at risk. Don’t be afraid to contact our staff if you would like additional information and extra help with an assessment and meals. We will compassionately help you every step of the way.

Each morning, Monday through Friday, our dietary team heads into the kitchen to start preparing 200 meals for our senior clients. Bev, Cody, Karen and Cheryl work like a well-oiled machine getting the meals ready to be packed up for the drivers. Once the meals are ready, the team loads up and heads out. Each of our six drivers looks forward to seeing their clients each weekday. Not all days are sunny and beautiful however, but like postal workers, our team, at times, braves extreme weather conditions.

When asked why she delivers meals, Penny said, “I enjoy learning from my elders. My Uncle Mike used to deliver Meals on Wheels.” Delivering meals has become a family affair for Penny.

James says when asked why he delivers, “It makes me feel good to help those who can’t help themselves.”

When Traci was asked what her most memorable delivery moment, she said, “Taking a client chocolate bars. The client told me that most things are taken for granted that are basic everyday things. Like buying a chocolate bar.”

Traci, Penny and Paul also told of finding their clients after they had fallen. One had fallen in the yard, one in the bathroom and one beside her bed; all unable to help themselves get up. If our drivers had not been there to help, you can imagine how those stories might have ended. For many of our senior clients, we are the only visit they receive. Some for days on end. These drivers were heroes for their clients and most likely saved their lives.

Pat’s memorable moments include, “Knowing that I’m the only regular person they see every day and waiting on the porch to greet me.”

When asked what she would say to someone to convince them sponsor a senior, Rosa said, “So they can stay in their homes, as many cannot stand or sit to cook.”

Shirley, In-Home Services Supervisor said, “Please donate. We have clients who need this service and it helps them stay safely in their home. Sometimes the driver is the only person they see and we need to check on our seniors. Meals and wellness checks daily is what our seniors need! They become our family.”

Traci also encourages donations, and said, “There are seniors on the waiting list and the donation helps with getting more seniors on the program. Also, our meal delivery program provides a sense of safety and they do enjoy our delivery along with a few minutes of chit-chat.”

The PCCOA currently serves 200 seniors in Preble County. Sadly, we have seniors on our active waiting list who need sponsors to provide them with meals. A donation of $12.50 per week will assure that one of our seniors in need will be provided with a hot, nutritious meal each day, Monday through Friday. We want to thank all who are sponsors!

Each of our trained drivers, ranging in age from 40-73, not only delivers a meal and a smile, but provides a wellness check, social interaction and assistance with small tasks such as picking up the mail. We currently have six home delivery routes and drive around 360 miles each day. That’s an 84,960 mile delivery projection for this year.

In 2018, we prepared and delivered 30,695 meals. In 2019, 32,531. In 2020, our staff prepared and delivered 85,186 meals. Read that again. That’s an average of 7,744 meals each month, and yes, the numbers increased exponentially due to the complications of the pandemic. Yet, we kept up and delivered each and every meal to each and every one of our senior clients in need.

Drive Thru Thursdays

As if Drive Thru Thursdays couldn’t get any better, guess what? It has! Our Drive Thru Crew loves music and we now have “Rockin’ & Rollin’ at the Drive Thru!” As you drive through to pick up your treat, you too can move and groove with us all in the comfort of your vehicle! From Oldies to Goodies, Big Band and Country, like the treat, we never know what the DJ will be playing for us!

Drive Thru Thursdays happens each Thursday between 2-3 p.m. Sponsoring the event is easy and costs you nothing but the price of the treats. For all of the details, please contact Stacey Fullmer at sfullmer@prebleseniorcenter.org.

Big announcement coming!

Get ready for a members-only announcement coming soon with exciting information! Not a member? Call (937) 456-4947 to join! Only $10 a year and as a member you get all the information first!

Have a happy and safe St. Patrick’s Day! Don’t forget to wear green!

To stay up to date on all of our activities, trips and senior news sign up to receive our bi-monthly newsletter the “Senior Scene.” Membership at the Senior Center is $10 a year. In addition to other benefits, members automatically receive our bi-monthly “Senior Scene” newsletter which features all our latest news and activities, additional benefits are discounts on trips and select activities.

Like our Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/preblecountycouncilonaging/ or give us a call at 937-456-4947. Visit our website at www.PrebleSeniorCenter.org.

Drivers, left to right: Penny, James, Rosa, Pat, Shirley, Paul, Traci.
https://www.registerherald.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/41/2021/03/web1_DriversPhoto.jpgDrivers, left to right: Penny, James, Rosa, Pat, Shirley, Paul, Traci. Stacey Fullmer, Senior Center Manager (a.k.a. Wonder Woman)

Drivers, left to right: Penny, James, Rosa, Pat, Shirley, Paul, Traci.
https://www.registerherald.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/41/2021/03/web1_Drivers_2.jpgDrivers, left to right: Penny, James, Rosa, Pat, Shirley, Paul, Traci. Stacey Fullmer, Senior Center Manager (a.k.a. Wonder Woman)

The kitchen team preparing meals.
https://www.registerherald.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/41/2021/03/web1_KitchenTeam.jpgThe kitchen team preparing meals. Stacey Fullmer, Senior Center Manager (a.k.a. Wonder Woman)

Kitchen team, left to right: Bev, Karen, Cody, Cheryl.
https://www.registerherald.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/41/2021/03/web1_KitchenTeam2.jpgKitchen team, left to right: Bev, Karen, Cody, Cheryl. Stacey Fullmer, Senior Center Manager (a.k.a. Wonder Woman)

Severe winter conditions impacted delivery.
https://www.registerherald.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/41/2021/03/web1_MOWRoadConditions.jpgSevere winter conditions impacted delivery. Stacey Fullmer, Senior Center Manager (a.k.a. Wonder Woman)

Severe winter conditions impacted delivery.
https://www.registerherald.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/41/2021/03/web1_mOWRoadConditions2.jpgSevere winter conditions impacted delivery. Stacey Fullmer, Senior Center Manager (a.k.a. Wonder Woman)

By Wende Kluener

For PCCOA