Meals on Wheels - what's involved in the home assessment for this?

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Can someone tell me what to expect in a comprehensive assessment for getting meals on wheels? My mom is getting weaker as she can no longer properly prepare meals for herself. I just called her and she sounded very weak. (She has dementia and beginning Alz) I live long distance and trying to coordinate meals on wheels for her today. Told she will have to have assessment. I know she will be very angry about this and may refuse the meals on wheels. She is not driving and hasn't driven for a couple months. I suspect she will tell the coordinator that she is able to drive. Any help from someone who knows what will be asked or what is involved in the assessment. Mom lives alone; no outside help - has refused in the past.

Answers 1 to 9 of 9
Alot of the assesment is going to depend on the program, like if it's a non-profit doing it or run by a division of city govt.

I think a good part of the assessment is about their financial status as often these programs are funded through CBDG's - community block development grants - as those with household income below your mom's community standard get extra $ to run program as they are meeting a need. They probably want to establish that it is a senior getting the benefit and there is not younger family members there eating the food. My mom when she was still living @ her home got Meals on WHeels type of program delivered 4 X a week for a cost of $ 12 and they provided a marked insulated cooler with freezer blocks that she could set outside her kitchen/outside door for the food to go into , so she didn't have to be home OR open her door for them. Her HH income was about $ 1,800 between SS and retirement so it was not free but if she had just had SS only it would have been. She may be asked to show the annual SS statement that goes out to all in Jan (this is an important document for Medicaid if you ever need to go that route) - they should not ask for any bank statement. Also they did a dietary screening as so many have sodium, issues or are diabetic and the meals have to be tailored for that in order to get their federal funding. This seems to be kinda standard.

My mom was highly independent and getting her help either via Meals or having home health care was nothing but a battle. SHe is Lewy Body Dementia and was very competent looking to the outside world really until the last couple of years. It can be a real uphill battle to get them to accept outside help. If you are not DPOA, MPOA or have a Guardianship in Case of Incapacity on her, I'd suggest you do some research to find a good elder care attorney and then take a few days off to go visit her and get these things done now and before it's an emergency situation and you all are functioning in a panic. Many of us on this site have been where you mom would put on a good show for when we would visit but really could not function at home on her own and I forced her into IL. Mad as a wet hen with major Academy Award level dramarama. WIthin 3 days at IL was too busy to talk to me as she had to get downstairs to catch the van to go to Steinmart. LMAO! She did IL for a few years and now is in a NH for 2 years and is mid 90's too. It'snever easy but you have to go with your gut feeling of what she needs rather than listen to her protests that she doesn't need anything. Good luck and keep a sense of humor.
Top Answer
Hi, I was the Meals on Wheels site manager in KS for five years. To see whether she qualifies for meals on wheels is very simple. They just come out and talk to your mom, which by the way, you can be there when they come out and fill them in on your side of the story of how she is very stubborn and doesn't accept outside help easily. Believe me, they see this a lot. I don't know about in your town, but our town just called me after the visit and would have meals delivered the next day. They ask for a donation but if you can't afford it, the government will cover your bill. I know we had some clients that would get breakfast and also get frozen meals for the weekends. Just ask them, they should be able to answer your questions. Not a big deal....Good luck to you.
My mother didn't want Meals on Wheels either, but I insisted when she lost 10 pounds in 8 weeks. We didn't know why. 2 months later she was diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment, nice way of saying dementia. Anyway, I too live 900 miles from her. But, I took some time off and had the representative from the Aging and Disability Resource Center of her county come out and meet with us. This is required when getting set up with Meals on Wheels. All it took was hearing that she had lost so much weight, and she was qualified. This is a service available for a $5/meal "donation". If Mom cannot afford it she can still get MOW. My Mom can afford it, but I have the monthly invoice sent to me. I pay it online from Mom's bank account that I had the foresight to become a joint account holder. Smartest thing I ever did because Mom either forgets to pay the bill, or loses it. My mother fussed and fumed over getting meals delivered, but really likes it now. If your mother refuses meals, try again when you are present. With her having dementia, at least you know she would be eating a meal once a day for sure. If my mother doesn't answer the door, they call her. If she doesn't answer the phone all afternoon, they will call the police to go check on her. This happened once to my mom. Turned out she was sleeping all day because she wasn't feeling well. Had a raging UTI going on. So, Meals on Wheels is also a way to have someone checking up on Mom. Good luck and I encourage you to pursue this.
We had M on W for years in Fort Worth, Tx. Qualifying was so easy. They brought fresh milk and fruit 5 days a week along with breakfast and a lunch + snacks. They even brought dog food, so my parents would not have to share. They came mid/morning daily, and would call me at work if they suspected anything was wrong. I loved these folks! Cost was minimal, about $1.50 a day. Can't pay? No problem!
I didn't have any assessment for my dad. They just asked me a couple questions on the phone and I dropped off the key and they brought the meals. Super easy!!! They took the food right to him every day.
Thanks everyone. Yesterday they were supposed to do a call to her. I had called mom on Sunday and though reluctant; she agreed that she would talk to them when they called. They will do an assessment - home visit and she has to agree to that. We have the $ to pay so that isn't an issue. I won't be able to get there for a home visit; but if she refuses the home visit then I will take some time off and be there and go thru the request again. I talked to my neice who was there a couple weeks ago and she said she looked fine and was coherent once she drank some milk and was talked to. She thinks she is sleeping most of the day. I will be grateful for home visit by Soc Worker (for M on W) to get in there and get an independent assessment.

Thanks to everyone for the responses and advice.
It is wonderful that your niece could visit your Mom. One note of caution, our parents with dementia can seem perfectly fine during a brief visit. This used to happen with my sister and myself. She would visit for a couple of hours, and all was well. When I came and stayed with her for a week, it was an entirely different picture. Those afflicted with dementia can seem fine at one time, and an hour, or a few hours, later they are behaving entirely different. They can be happy one moment and confused and/or angry another.
I am puzzled as to why you said your mother is getting weaker and why she is sleeping a lot. Sleeping all day can be a sign of depression, which is common in the elderly. Or, as I learned with my own mom, it can be a sign of a urinary infection going on (elderly don't always present with symptoms of fever or pain). Getting weaker can be that she is just plain forgetting to eat. Time tends to pass and they just don't think of eating.
Any chance of getting her moved to where you live? My mother has stubbornly refused through the years to move near myself or my sister. Now I wish we had put our foot down and insisted. It's extremely difficult to deal with dementia long distance, and it will only get worse. Good luck to you,
You know, you could call the office where they do the visit and explain the situation. I promise you you aren't the first person with this issue. They are very workable and really try to help out. Good luck. :)
Sunflo, if she has dementia, I would try to get someone from social service do that assessment to see if she should even be living alone n if its safe for her. My mnl would forget to ate n she would tell us she had this n that. We knew better for when I did a spot check at her house before we moved her in with us their was open food everywhere n molded. I even started buying food for her n taking her to the grocery store n that was when I notice that she would just grab stuff that she already had 3 boxes of instead of stuff she needed like milk, eggs n lunch meat. She also started wearing the same clothes to where they were dirty n she even had the stove left on one time. That drew the line for her safetyness. I don't mean to scare ya but I was pretty scared when I started notice things that shouldn't be left alone for her own health. Her weight had dropped a lot too n she just stay in the house. She now lives with us even though she gets on r nerves, she is eating a lot better n has gain weight. I know you live long distance but I would suggest that u get someone in their like a social worker to evaulate her n they probable can help her with other needs if needed. Good luck.

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