They say that food is the best way to reach a man's heart. It appears that food is the best way to reach out to anyone, irrespective of age and gender.
Meals on Wheels can be a primary source to reach out to the world outside for elderly individuals who are living alone and unable to cook for themselves.
The Ouachita Council on Aging (OCA) provides Meals on Wheels and Congregate meals to senior citizens. Loretta Hudson, nutrition director, explained that these meals provide healthy nutrition to the elderly and, most important, they "provide peace of mind."
Individuals enrolled in both meal programs receive five nutritious meals a week. During weekends, local churches collaborate with OCA and provide the meals.
Meals on Wheels provides meals to home-bound senior citizens. Congregate meals are provided at the OCA center where senior citizens meet, eat together, and engage in social and recreational activities.
Hudson explained that although these meals are federally funded, the Ouachita Council on Aging does fundraisers too, because not enough funds are available for all those enrolled. Also, the Council has a waiting list. Hudson wants the community to know that "anyone can sponsor the meals for a senior citizen for $100 a month or $1,200 a year."
Drivers who bring the meals to those who cannot leave their homes are often the seniors' only connection with the outside world. If a driver finds the client sick or hurt due to a fall, they are able to help them seek medical treatment.
Ouachita Council on Aging provides "a plethora of services to senior citizens" according to Hudson, including recreation, socialization, transportation, legal aid, Medicaid enrollment, nutrition education and counseling, and medical alerts.