They're living independantly and they think they are still fully capable but, I know they need help with daily meal preparation and with common household chores. I am available 3-4 days a week but not 24/7. How can I help to make sure they are eating regularly? Does Meals on Wheels deliver to all elderly despite not being considered low income? Thanks for any advise that can be offered.

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Good answers, as usual GA. Huzzah!
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This is a slow brain day for me. As soon as I posted, I thought of something else.

A lot of elders don't feel they need help, or mistakenly assess their abilities. So don't approach the situation with an "I know you need some help" approach, but rather, "let me do this for you - it give me pleasure". If they consider it a daughterly/son/family activity, it won't be as difficult for them to accept as if the concepts are presented as assisting them b/c they're not capable anymore.

Also, think back to activities they enjoyed and try to find ways they can still do them, whether it's through senior groups or family groups. And if you have a family that's close and supportive, enlist their help, now. Consider what each does best and how each person could help, if they're willing.
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In our area, MOW criteria for delivery wasn't income level but rather that the elderly are more or less housebound, i.e., no vehicle, don't drive, and/or dependent on someone else to provide transportation. They can be ambulatory, just can't drive to get their own food or meals.

Meals are $3 and are provided daily, with the option for an extra meal for Saturday. Holidays usually feature a special treat - a meal from a local restaurant.

Your best bet is to do research online to find out what's local; this can be time consuming for posters to do this research, although some are very generous and might do it.

Start with the Senior Center in Oklahoma City; in Michigan the SCs provide a variety of services, programs and more. Each city is different. Some of the cities in higher income level areas provide much more extensive and better services. Although some programs are for residents only, there are others that are open to the public, such as their expos.

This is also the time of the year when Michigan cities have Senior Expos, with vendors from in-home health care companies, PT companies for therapy, cleaning services, back braces, even financial companies, home retrofit contractors, regular linehaul and paratransit public transportation, and more.

The ones I've attended also frequently have representatives from the Jewish support groups, which have programs for adult respite "day care", as well as resources to provide additional information for the senior community.

Area Agency on Aging sponsors a massive expo every year; these have more vendors and a lot of helpful information, including seminars on aging issues.

But best of all, there are usually vendors with governmental information such as state services (Michigan has a free Elder Law service which provides information on food and other types of assistance), local services, Veteran's services. Sometimes elected reps hand out booklets with lists of these services.

Also check your county's website for senior services. Ours has lists of a lot of different companies that offer senior assistance.

But if there are senior expos, definitely go to them; it'll give you an idea what's available in your area.

On a separate level, I think it's wise to consider medical alert service with pendants that have motion detectors to alert the service provider if someone falls. Lock boxes for emergency personnel provide access if assistance is needed while you're at work, during night, or if emergencies occur. Then you don't have to worry about rushing over if medical assistance is immediately necessary.

If they're mobile, check local churchs, especially the United Methodist ones. We're close to entering the season for free Christmas concerts. In our area, there are also a few churches which have free musical programs during the summer. If your parents are mobile, these are ways to get out and listen to a variety of music.

It takes some extra time and planning to bring walkers, rollators, wheelchairs and/or oxygen, but the dynamics of an outdoor concert are some of the best therapy I've found.
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