Meals on Wheels wasn't delivered, but they say it was. Has anyone else experienced this? - AgingCare.com

Meals on Wheels wasn't delivered, but they say it was. Has anyone else experienced this?

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Meals on Wheels didn't knock loudly enough on Monday, March 5th. My mother's home health aide was vacuuming my mother's bedroom and she was in there, too. (It does say in the driver's notes to try calling if she doesn't answer the door, but he didn't.) Someone called my mother later and said he would bring her food on Friday. He did and she wrote on each one the date - 3/9. When I went to my mother's house today (Thursday March 15th), I looked in her freezer and saw no "new" food that was supposed to have been delivered on Monday, March 12th for this week. When I looked at my mother's tablet where she keeps careful notes, I saw that she had written on Monday that Meals on Wheels had not come. Rather than scold her for not informing me sooner, I called the company that delivers the food. They told me that she signed for it and they had her initials!! There were only two possible explanations that I could think of off the top of my head. One, that her home health aide had taken the food home with her, or the delivery driver "made a mistake." The woman I spoke to at the Meals on Wheels company, told me that she would call the delivery driver to see what had happened. He didn't answer his phone, so she said she would email his supervisor and call me back. I never got a call back, but at 4:30, my mother called me and said that someone had called her and said that her food is always delivered on Mondays. Like that's an answer. I wondered if anyone else had experienced this. Meals on Wheels claiming that they had delivered when they hadn't. My mother has me to fight for her (and bring her food if she has nothing to eat). But, what about the shut-ins who have no one to advocate for them? P.S. I called back to say that I would like more information, but no one has called me back, yet. There are worse problems, I guess, but that's one of my challenges for today.

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GardenArtist, it was MOW in my area (major metro area) that provided the pureed meals. Just checked their web-site, and it says they offer "medically tailored meals." I had to get his dr to sign off on the application.
Cwillie, I hadn't even thought about how it works in rural areas -- Thank you for pointing that out.
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Great results.

Well done to you both :)
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BuzzyBee, Since I work until 1:30 every day and the delivery time varies widely, it's hard to say if I could be there or not, but you have a good idea. (I called my mother at 1:30 and was going to go to her house and wait, but the guy had already come.) I don't think the drivers read the notes very much because no one has ever called my mother even though there is a note to do that if she doesn't answer the door and my number is there, too, but no one has ever called me. They SHOULD have called me to let me know they were going to do a make-up delivery on Friday, but didn't, so we missed them because I had taken my mother to the doctor and then we decided to really live it up and went for a sandwich and then made a trip to the park. And they SHOULD have called me today because I asked for them to do that, but that didn't happen either.
UPDATE: The delivery driver DID call my mother today because he couldn't find her apartment within the condo complex. He was across the parking lot. That's probably what happened last week and "someone" signed for my mother and got her food (??) Anyway, the guy today was very nice today and when my mother asked if she could have an extra box of food because she didn't get her food for last week, he happily complied.
Now, I am concentrating on being grateful for the service because it's wonderful that my mother (97 years old) doesn't have to prepare meals and this company does a very nice job with their menu.
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sunnydayclouds would it be possible for you to let them know you will be there SOMETIMES also? That way they will have to treat is as though you might.

May be for 2 or 3 deliveries you could actually be there?

Good Luck
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Thanks, GardenArtist for your additional comments. That's what I asked the last person who I spoke to (the fourth person). If the food was delivered, then where is it? I wrote a big (large letters) note for my mother to give the delivery man when he comes tomorrow (Monday). It says to please leave two boxes of food since no food was delivered last Monday. I'm not sure if I'm going to call Meals on Wheels tomorrow. I'll have to see how I feel. I get off work at 1:30, so I may go sit at my mother's house until Meals on Wheels comes, if they have not delivered by then and see what the delivery person has to say. I read the Medicaid booklet yesterday and it mentions "fraud." So, I can pursue filing a complaint if necessary, but I don't think it will be necessary. And I definitely want to see the initials that my mother supposedly wrote. She tells me she never signs anything that way. She always writes her entire name, so that will be interesting to see what was going on, there, too. Another important thing to me is that this not happen to any other elderly people who don't know how to stand up for themselves. And who don't have someone to advocate for them.
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Clouds, missing a whole week's worth of meals is an entirely different situation than one missed meal. After reading CWillie's post on rural deliveries, and your lastest post, I see the situation in a different light.

I would insist on seeing the so-called initials on the form. And I think at this point I would also write a letter to the company, sent by certified mail, stating that you need to see the so-called initials. I'm beginning to think now that there's more to the situation that originally "met the eye".

If there was no food, yet allegedly it was delivered, where did it go?

Your post reminded me of something I learned about years ago. A felon was colluding with a driver for either the Salvation Army or Goodwill, stealing some of the donations and reselling them. I never would have thought that anyone with ill intentions would do exploit a charity, but the individual who shared the information hadaccurate information on what was stolen. And that was verified when the police became involved.


Sometimes there's just no explanation for scum of the earth who exploit others.

I'm even less confident that the disappearing food was just a mistake after thinking over the situation of an apparently for profit company managing the MOW program. I think volunteers are more reliable, companionable, and better than someone who's poorly paid to do a service that probably doesn't pay very much.

And I would stock up on reserve food in case it happens again.

Do you have any idea which agency contracted with this company? You might contact your local Area on Agency, or Senior Center, to see if they have any advice on the entity that granted the contract to the deliverer of food that mysteriously disappears. I believe there's a federal agency involved as well but can't recall which one at this moment.
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Thanks everyone for responding. This wasn't a daily meal that was missed. On Mondays they are supposed to leave frozen meals for an entire week. They didn't, but claimed that the meals had been left. I believe they are not volunteers. One driver talked to us about getting a different job, so that makes me think it's a regular paid job for the delivery people. There are notes in the driver's system that say they should call my mother if she doesn't hear the knock on the door. Now, there is a note that asks them to call me before they deliver so that I can come to help my mother (if I'm not still at work). But, at least I'll know that they are on their way. My mother does have a HUGE note on her TV that reminds her not to take a shower or be in the other room where she can not hear the knock at the door on Mondays. Of course, the home health aide can see this note, too, so she should have not had my mother in the other room with her while she was vacuuming (when the last missed delivery happened). Also, my mother has a HUGE hang tag for the door that reminds the driver to call if she doesn't answer the door right away. (She might be in the bathroom.) Since the delivery is for a week's worth of meals, it's very important that the meals get delivered and we have taken many measures to be sure that the delivery happens. The fact that they insisted that the delivery had been made didn't sit well with me. I have been very patient every time I have called and not accusatory. I have spoken to four different people. I have been told three times that someone would call me back, but have not been called. Yesterday, I took my mother to a scheduled doctor's appointment. When we arrived back at her home, there was a hang tag note on her door that says they came and missed us. No one had let me know that they were going to come, apparently to deliver meals because of the missed delivery on Monday. (It was Friday.) I didn't miss their call. I had my cell phone in my pocket all day. And of course, on my smart phone, I can see what calls I might have missed. I am glad at least that they tried to correct the situation, but am surprised that no one called me to say that they were coming. The people on this forum who suggested that maybe the delivery was made to the wrong address might be right. That did occur to me after I posted my question. Still, the mystery about my mother's supposed initials being on the delivery form . . . . Well, it's in the past now, and at least they made an effort to do a delivery yesterday, even though it wasn't successful. Thanks for your helpful thoughts.
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Reply to sunnydayclouds
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Talkey, hot meals delivered daily is what everybody thinks of when they hear about MOW but when you live in rural areas it just isn't practical. The OP mentioned "I looked in her freezer and saw no "new" food that was supposed to have been delivered on Monday", so I assume she is getting frozen meals.
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Talkey, just curious...what agency or company provided the meals on wheels when you needed to have them pureed? The Senior Center which manages the MOW program in our area doesn't puree meals, which I can understand b/c, if I remember correctly, they have a clientele slightly less than 200, and just don't have the time to puree meals.
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Cwillie, Dad's meals were delivered daily, actually a lunch and a dinner tray delivered together. And they were unbelievably cheap; if I recall correctly they were under $5 each. I had run myself ragged trying to puree' meals, as Dad was on a dysphagia diet then. Not sure that they provide them everywhere, but they offered dysphagia meals here back then. They were a life-save for me.
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