When we talk about what Meals on Wheels of Rhode Island does to better the lives of the frail seniors and other homebound Rhode Islanders we serve, we often point to the fact that there have been many instances in which we have saved lives.
fallsRecently, one of our clients did not answer the door when our trained volunteer arrived to deliver a lunchtime meal. As we always do in these cases, we called the client’s emergency contact, her daughter, who immediately went to check on the client’s wellbeing.
We later learned our client had fallen down two flights of stairs and was stuck on her basement floor because she was unable to get up on her own or reach the phone to call for help.
“You saved my mother’s life,” the client’s daughter told us.
In the May 11, 2018 issue of its weekly Morbidity and Mortality Report, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that the rate of death from falls among the U.S. senior population increased a staggering 31 percent from 2007 to 2016—and that Rhode Island was among the states with the most significant increases in the number of fatal falls.
Analyzed data also showed that falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries among adults aged 65 and older, with those aged 85 and older being most at risk for suffering a fall.
As our senior population grows—Rhode Island is expected to add 300,00 seniors to its population by 2030—vital services such as Meals on Wheels of RI daily safety checks will become even more critical to keeping our most vulnerable neighbors healthy in their own homes.
We also know that the need for our Home-Delivered Meal Program will increase with a larger senior population, and we already consistently have hundreds of seniors on our program waitlist. food-insecure
According to “The State of Senior Hunger in America 2016,” released by Feeding America and the National Foundation to End Senior Hunger in May, 5.7 percent of Rhode Island seniors are classified as “very low food secure”—the highest percentage in the United States.
(Data from 2016 is the most recent year for which such numbers are available).
Research demonstrates that food insecurity is linked to higher incidences of diabetes, depression, heart failure and other health issues, while seniors receiving daily delivered meals report improved physical and mental health and reduced isolation, hospitalizations and falls.
With more help from our caring supporters, we will be able to help even more Rhode Island seniors and other homebound residents receive the services they need.
Please consider making a donation today; you could be saving a life.