Building a Culture of Giving

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Nonprofits in Our Community

Longmont Meals on Wheels

Longmont Meals on Wheels (LMOW) serves our community by promoting client health and independence through good nutrition and social interaction. LMOW helps frail elderly and people with disabilities stay independent in their own homes for as long as possible. We continue to impact an increasing number of seniors on fixed incomes in Longmont, but specifically we want to share some of the personal stories of our clients. Research shows that poor nutrition and skipping meals has a bigger impact on the health of seniors than it does other age groups, especially after many kinds of medical issues. Recently one of our homebound clients had an appointment with her eye doctor who noticed that her vision had improved significantly. He asked her what nutritional changes she had made since he last saw her. The difference was that she had joined Longmont Meals on Wheels! Recently one of our regular volunteers, Bill, delivered a meal to Laura, a diabetic. She arose for the first time that day to answer the door for Bill. Because Laura had not yet been up for the day, she had not eaten; and because she is diabetic, when she arose, she became light-headed. She answered the door and promptly fainted. Luckily, Bill caught her as she crumpled in his arms. She immediately regained consciousness and began pulling herself up in her walker with some assistance from Bill. (Our volunteers are trained not to someone up if they cannot get up on their own and instead to help them get comfortable on the floor while emergency services are contacted.) Bill then helped her to the couch and sat with her while she ate her LMOW meal. Immediately upon eating, Laura completely recovered. Further, because Bill is familiar with Laura's health problems, he knew that with food, this episode was over. When Laura finished eating and Bill prepared to leave, she begged him not to tell anyone what happened. This is a common concern of our elderly clients. Some are concerned that their families will be upset and may begin considering nursing-care facilities. Some are afraid of being a bother to anyone. Regardless, all volunteers are trained to report an incident to staff. In this case, Executive Director Karla Hale, also knew Laura and her family well. A few hours after the incident with Bill, she went to visit with Laura, to double-check that this was a diabetic episode and nothing more serious. Karla also notified the family, just so they were aware of this particular episode. We generally receive a similar report every day from volunteers. Thankfully most situations turn out to be benign, but we are often the first to be aware when something has gone wrong.

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