Mid-Cumberland Meals-on-Wheels Client Stories

The Mid-Cumberland Meals-on-Wheels service has  over 250+ seniors on a waiting list desperately needing Meals-on-Wheels. These seniors have the same struggles as the seniors you will read about below. All names are changed to protect privacy.


Love in the Time of Alzheimer’s

Geneva and Jim, high school sweethearts, have been married for 60 years and never been apart more than a few days. When Jim developed Alzheimer’s, Geneva was terrified he would have to go into a nursing home immediately, and she cried every time she thought about him alone in an institution without her. She decided she would try to care for him at home as long as she could. Geneva has many tasks as the primary caretaker of a husband with Alzheimer’s, but she does not have to worry about food because Meals-on-Wheels brings her and her husband a daily lunch.

Meals-on-Wheels is giving long time loves more quality togetherness.

You had Me at Your First Laugh

Van loved to laugh which if you asked his wife Ruby what attracted her to Van it was his laugh. She asked her friend one time at a party who was the man who was always smiling and laughing, and the rest was 56 years of marriage. Van thought one day how little he smiled or laughed anymore not because he did not want to, but he was homebound and had little interaction anymore with people. Ruby had passed away a few years ago, most of his friends were deceased, and his one child was in the military and lived overseas. After a stay in the hospital, the social worker recommended he start Meals-on-Wheels. He really was not sure about it since he liked to take care of himself. He decided he would try it, and he LOVED it! Everyday a volunteer brought his meal. They would laugh at his jokes, ask him if the watched the Titans game, and always give him a smile!

Meals-on-Wheels reminded an elderly man people still wanted to laugh with him!

I Will Make a New Family

 Bessie has the beginnings of dementia and was placed in a nursing home twice by her niece, and promptly walked out both times to return to her beloved home. Her niece out of frustration quit talking to her, and Bessie lost her support system. Bessie made a “new family” with her volunteers from Meals-on-Wheels. One volunteer takes her to the doctor, another takes her to the drugstore, and one does her yard work.

Meals-on-Wheels is providing her the wonderful gift of remaining at home and not in a nursing home.

Can a Pair of Socks Save the World?

No, they cannot change the world, but they did brighten the day of our senior, volunteers, and staff. Our good friends at The Nutro Company not only provide us donated pet food but, they also gave personal care bags for some of our seniors. This particular bag had a bar of soap and a pair of socks. Our volunteers deliver the bag to our senior, and she bursts into tears and said she needed to know today someone cared. She has a brain tumor and takes care of her sister with beginnings of dementia. The two volunteers return, and they are crying because they see the difference they make in the lives of the seniors. The staff cries because they know too how fortunate we are to see these daily little miracles occur. Think about it, a $2 pair of socks and $2 bar of soap and look at the impact it had. Sometimes what seems so insignificant creates a little daily miracle.

Meals-on-Wheels gives not only blessings to seniors but also volunteers and staff.

I Do not Want to Call an Ambulance

Bob woke up struggling for his breath. He knew something was wrong, but he did not want to bother his kids since they live 250 miles away. He stumbles on his way to sit in the dining room to wait for his sweet Meals-on-Wheels volunteer who always has a big smile for him. His volunteer arrives and hears his harsh breathing as soon as she enters. She encourages him to call an ambulance, but he refuses. The volunteer is still worried about him and tells the site manager at the meal site. The site manager calls another volunteer Bob has befriended and asks if he will go check on Bob. He immediately leaves home and goes to Bob’s house finding Bob still struggling to breath and not able to stand. He finally talks Bob into calling an ambulance, and they go to the hospital together. The doctors tell Bob he would have died if he had not come.

Meals-on-Wheels saved Bob’s life that day.

Pine Sol is not Cooking Oil

Pete lives alone and is legally blind. As his eyes continued to worsen so did his ability to prepare meals. Everyday, he would worry how he would eat. He couldn’t see how high he turned on the stove, what he pulled from the pantry, and one day he confused Pine Sol and cooking oil, and he became scared to cook.

Meals-on-Wheels gives Pete peace of mind knowing he will have a meal daily.

A Father’s Love Never Ends

Robert has such pride and love for his 62 year-old son Sam! Sam has some severe mental challenges and lives at home with his Dad. Robert is now in his 80’s, and he still wants his son to have the best. Robert knows he can no longer prepare adequate meals for his son so he was elated Meals-on-Wheels could bring Sam healthy meals.

Meals-on-Wheels gives an elderly man a new way to show his love for his son.