Every day our staff and volunteers experience another great senior moment worth sharing

Every day our staff and
volunteers experience
another great senior
moment worth sharing

SENIOR MOMENTS

It’s not unusual to see our neighbors keeping a lookout for their weekday meal delivery. And they don’t hesitate to let us know when we’ve arrived a bit late, or how delighted they are that it’s meatloaf today.

A daily rhythm and reason to continue living life fully is a key component to our senior services. Client dignity is endorsed daily and self-sufficiency is celebrated.

Our older adult clients are honored through engaging conversation and continued encouragement on a regular basis. It’s because Meals on Wheels volunteers know the importance in helping seniors maintain a mindful life and how it can ensure the longevity in their own homes.

But even more important, are the relationships. Nothing can take the place of real live people caring for each other. A pat on the back, a quick joke and a handmade blanket as a holiday gift all let our clients know they have friends.

The healing power of a friendly “hello” can’t be underestimated.

We nourish the mind of our seniors by helping them pay attention by remembering a mealtime, a driver’s name, or creating for all of us — another great senior moment.

Ralph, Ralph and Esther

The Bradley house is a secure senior facility and Esther would watch and recognize Ralph’s car or truck arrive in the parking lot.

She seemed to know what days we were going to deliver a meal to her.

She’d keep an eye out her window looking for us and ring us in. She was always ready and willing to help us get into the building.

And it’s always a pleasure to ring her doorbell.

I got involved probably 12 years ago because the Optimist Club in Littleton was asking for volunteers to deliver
Meals on Wheels. I was retired at the time and decided that’d be a good thing for me to do. So, I volunteered.

Just like Ralph, I thought this would be a great opportunity to help some people and give back a little bit.

The Bradley House is on our route and Esther just popped up one day on our delivery list. She’s 99 now, but was in her late eighties when we first met her.

When we would come to the door and be invited in, you could see she was quite patriotic and had a lot of Marine memorabilia on the door and wall.

Esther was in the Marines — and a woman Marine in World War II. That just didn’t happen back then! We like to honor our veterans, so we always tried to mention that fact.

Well, it’s Christmas time and Esther always has her place decorated for Christmas time. Meals on Wheels makes sure that all major holidays are recognized by giving little gifts and Ralph and I like to add little gifts too. Esther is a big Denver Broncos fan, so we were happy to give her a Bronco blanket as one of her 12 days of gifts. And of course the poinsettia was also always appreciated.

You know, in spite of all the ups and downs we go through as individuals, after delivering meals, it’s hard to leave not feeling very blessed.

It is gratifying to know that we’d done something to make their day because some of these people are very lonely and look forward to seeing us. And we look forward to seeing them, too.

Nourish the Body

Andrea | KITCHEN VOLUNTEER

Our clients really thrive on this food — for some, these are their only meals.

Seniors know what they like, and they know what they don’t like. We spend at least an hour every day preparing special meals for clients that have allergies, need their food pureed, cut up, or have special preferences. That comes before we do the regular pack-out for the day. We serve the food directly into the trays, seal them, label them and put them directly into delivery bags for our drivers.

There is a protocol and lineup of how we do things and you do it that same way every single day. Which is why it gets out the door, nice and hot, ready to go.

Nourish the Spirit

Dan | VOLUNTEER DRIVER

Family is very important to me. Meals on Wheels is very much like immediate family and the people we deliver to are like extended family.

One couple that I deliver to got married in 1952. She is French and he’s an American, and they got married in Paris. They live in this townhome now here in the South Denver-Metro area. They said we are the reason that they have been able to stay in this house and remain independent for the last 30 years. 30 years!

And, for a lot of these people, we may be the only ones they see during the day — we may be their only caretakers. It just really feels good to be able to help.

Nourish the Mind

Patti | CLIENT NEIGHBOR

Every day I can count on having a vegetable and some good meat or fish, a salad, and a little dessert like a fruit cup or pudding. And Sammy, my rescue dog, gets a little milk bone treat.

I feel like I can see the cooks putting all that care into what’s on the plate and saying, “I’m going to make Patti’s day better for her today.”

The biggest surprise I had was this last birthday. I got a birthday card with my lunch, with a special little cupcake with a candle. It came with Curly-Q ribbon on the special bag. There were cut-out penguins on the card, so somebody had taken lots of time and thought — just for me.

Nourish the Mind

Jill | COMMUNITY PARTNER

FirstBank has been involved with NOURISH Meals on Wheels since 1998. Throughout the years we’ve served on the Board, and have had groups of employees volunteering as drivers and volunteering in the kitchen on Wednesdays.

I became involved when they were looking for somebody with human resources experience to serve on the Board — and that was me.

So I started with a ride-along on a route and couldn’t believe how much of an impact these meals and the personal connection made in the clients’ lives. I was sold from that first route.

There’s just such a wide array of opportunities — it’s the perfect forum for our officers and employees to help people, build relationships, and show how much we care about our community.