September is a month when many of us focus on getting kids back to school, shopping for supplies and clothes, and figuring out new schedules. At our office, we’ve been brainstorming ways to partner with schools to find volunteer opportunities for staff and students. I’ll have to report in the future if we’ve been successful in that venture.
As I’ve been getting my own kids ready for the new school year, I’ve already completed one of the mundane annual tasks that’s required for my high school son to return to class: completing a new emergency form. I have to provide phone numbers, physician and health info, and emergency contacts. Although I get tired of completing the form every year, I understand the importance of providing that information.
Providing accurate and up-to-date emergency information is equally important for our seniors. We gather information very similar to what the schools request, and for the same reason. We want to be able to help our seniors as much as possible in the event of an emergency. And we want to be able to contact emergency contacts when we’re worried about a client.
In August, we had multiple incidents in which our drivers initiated client rescues. In one case, our volunteer driver called 9-1-1 for a client who had to be transported to the hospital. In another instance, our driver arrived to deliver a meal and found the client on the ground. Although that client didn’t require hospitalization, our staff called emergency contacts to make certain they knew to check on their loved one.
Sadly, we had one incident this month in which the main emergency contact phone number provided by the client was no longer accurate. Although we were able to reach the second contact, the client’s rescue was greatly delayed because we were unable to reach the closest family member. The client ended up spending 36 hours on the floor before rescue.
No one ever plans to fall or have a heart attack or stroke, but these unfortunate events happen, and it’s critical to be prepared. If you’re a Meals on Wheels client, please inform us of any changes to emergency contact info. If you’re an emergency contact for one of our clients, and you’ve changed your phone number, please contact us to update your information. Our staff and volunteers work hard to keep clients well-fed and SAFE. Please help us provide the best care possible for our seniors.
Thank you to all our excellent volunteers and staff who work hard to prepare, package, serve, and deliver meals to our clients! We’re grateful for the effort and care they put into feeding and caring for our seniors.
I hope September is a happy and safe month for you all.
Nutrition Services Director