Meals on Wheels Diablo Region Selected to Participate in Nationwide Health & Safety Monitoring Program to Enhance Care for 1,000 Homebound Seniors Across Contra Costa County
Walnut Creek, CA, – Meals on Wheels Diablo Region (MOWDR) announced today that it has been selected to participate in a national effort designed to improve and scale a mobile app-based monitoring program to help support senior home-delivered meal clients’ health, safety and social needs.
The program – developed with Meals on Wheels America, the West Health Institute and the Brown University Center for Gerontology and Healthcare Research – enables home-delivered meal program staff and volunteer drivers to use a mobile app to quickly raise alerts for and act upon changes they observe in homebound meal clients’ safety and physical or mental health status during regular meal deliveries. Up to 30 Meals on Wheels sites across the country will participate in this effort, helping ensure the wellness of an estimated 1000 in Contra Costa County and 40,000 seniors nationwide.
MOWDR Nutrition Services Division Manager, Nancy Raniere, has led the efforts of the agency’s initial launch. “For the purposes of the More than a Meal Learning Collaborative research program, we will initially be utilizing the mobile app to monitor change of condition for approximately 100 clients in varying areas of the county. Routes were selected to represent a wide range of need. The feedback from our volunteers involved so far is positive. The new process makes reporting and tracking of any concerns more timely and efficient. I am very proud of the work our agency is doing to adapt new technology to meet the growing needs of seniors in our community,” said Raniere.
A MOWDR staff and volunteer driver may be the only person a homebound client sees in a given day and is often the first person to observe potentially harmful health or environment status changes among their clients. Through this research program, drivers will be equipped with “Mobile Meals” – a mobile app that is part of Accessible Solutions, Inc.’s ServTracker software – that will enable them to raise alerts on the spot about any concerning changes observed. The MOWDR care coordinators who receive those alerts will then be able to follow up with the client right away to address their needs, report issues to caregivers or healthcare providers, and refer the client to appropriate health or social services as necessary.
“When Meals on Wheels staff and volunteers are equipped with simple, yet effective screening tools while on their deliveries, they’re better able to react to changing conditions in seniors’ physical and mental state or environment before a particularly harmful health event occurs,” said Ellie Hollander, President and CEO of Meals on Wheels America. “This ability to respond in close to real-time can ultimately contribute to more agile coordination across medical and community-based service providers, improving outcomes and reducing costs.”
Meals on Wheels Diablo Region is a network of support services that helps seniors stay in their own homes. We are a full-service organization dedicated to improving all aspects of a senior’s life. We focus on whole person solutions, assessing a client’s situation and then linking them to a broad network of support services from nutrition to social interaction to fall prevention and health and wellness. Throughout, our goal is to empower older adults to live independently and with dignity in their homes for as long as possible. Across programs, MOWDR supports over 6,000 seniors throughout Contra Costa County each year. To learn more about MOWDR support services visit: mowdiabloregion.org
About West Health
Solely funded by philanthropists Gary and Mary West, West Health is a family of nonprofit and nonpartisan organizations including the Gary and Mary West Foundation and Gary and Mary West Health Institute in San Diego, and the Gary and Mary West Health Policy Center in Washington, D.C. West Health is dedicated to lowering healthcare costs to enable seniors to successfully age in place with access to high-quality, affordable health and support services that preserve and protect their dignity, quality of life and independence. Learn more at westhealth.org and follow @westhealth.
About Meals on Wheels America
Meals on Wheels America is the oldest and largest national organization supporting the more than 5,000 community-based programs across the country that are dedicated to addressing senior isolation and hunger. This network exists in virtually every community in America and, along with more than two million staff and volunteers, delivers the nutritious meals, friendly visits and safety checks that enable America’s seniors to live nourished lives with independence and dignity. By providing funding, leadership, education, research and advocacy support, Meals on Wheels America empowers its local member programs to strengthen their communities, one senior at a time. For more information, or to find a Meals on Wheels provider near you, visit www.mealsonwheelsamerica.org.