The impact of isolation faced by elderly Orange residents is being targeted by a new media campaign aimed at boosting the profile of ‘Meals on Wheels’.
With a special one-off grant from the Commonwealth Government Department of Health (Commonwealth Home Support Emergency Support for COVID-19 program), Orange City Council’s community services team is working towards helping more seniors stay healthy and in their own homes.
The Australian Government has funded Orange City Council’s ‘Choices at Home’ community services team $70,000 to boost its home support program by:
- Increasing staff hours,
- creating more programs and
- promoting the service to increase the access to meals for seniors.
Member for Calare Andrew Gee has welcomed the funding.
“Meals on Wheels is much more than a meal delivery service, providing wholesome food and friendly faces to hundreds of Orange residents each week. The service helps our local seniors stay healthy and continue to live independently in their own homes,” Mr Andrew Gee said.
“If the families and friends of our senior residents live far away, or don’t have day-to-day contact, it can be hard to make sure they are being looked after. That’s why Meals on Wheels is such a vital service and why this funding is so worthwhile. Our community owes a great debt of gratitude to the workers and volunteers of Meals on Wheels, who are true community heroes,” said Mr Gee.
Orange Mayor Reg Kidd said the funding was primarily used to boost Council’s Meals on Wheels program.
“We’ve been able to fund additional hours to help package and deliver meals to those most vulnerable in our community,” Cr Kidd said. “We’re also advertising the services to a broader demographic. Anyone over 65 years or 55 years for people who are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, could be eligible for the programs on offer.”
“Thankfully our volunteers are also back after the initial virus threat passed. We have more funding and are delivering more meals to more people.
“But we have the capacity to increase those numbers. If you are someone, or you know someone who could do with an extra meal or two during the week, please get in contact with Council.”
Orange City Council’s Services Policy Committee Chair Cr Scott Munro said Council’s Choices at Home program offers a range of services to help older people have more “good days at home.”
“These services include home visits, a shopping service, Telecare, minor maintenance around the home, group activities such as bus trips and movie mornings, as well as cooking classes and exercise groups,” Cr Munro said.
“Social support services are just as important to the health and well-being of older people and physical health services and check-ups.
“Making sure people are still connected with their communities and making sure they still get out of the house helps keep people motivated and mentally well.
“People who keep doing everyday tasks live better and longer and Council’s programs help them achieve that.”