By Mary Lee Anderson
Alexandria’s seniors are fortunate in many ways. The city offers many programs and services designed to help older residents stay in their homes safely, and Senior Services of Alexandria is one of several local nonprofits that support those who may need a little extra help.
The Meals on Wheels program is one that makes a huge difference in many lives. SSA and the City’s Division of Aging and Adult Services work together to deliver meals seven days a week, 365 days a year.
More than 300 volunteers bring two meals each day — one hot, one cold — to the homes of more than 90 residents who count on nutritious food and a smiling face at their door.
Alexandria has one of the few Meals on Wheels programs in the entire country that operates on a daily basis, thanks to generous private donors and the city.
Seniors who live alone and are homebound may be eligible to receive meals on a subsidized basis. Those who have a short-term need due to surgery, or who have a medical condition that makes it difficult for them to shop and cook regularly, have the option of getting meals for just $10 per day. There is no waiting list for service and no income threshold is associated with Alexandria’s Meals on Wheels program.
SSA and DAAS have been looking at ways to reach non-English speaking seniors in our City. SSA has Spanish-speaking staff available to speak with anyone with questions about the program, and Spanish-language translations of Meals on Wheels literature are available and distributed throughout the community.
Soon we will be distributing Meals on Wheels information in Amharic, targeted at the Ethiopian and Eritrean seniors in Alexandria. SSA also has access to a simultaneous translation service that will ensure we can communicate with inquiries and clients in just about any language.
Please help get the word out to seniors in need — they can find out more by calling DAAS at 703-746-5999 or SSA at 703-836-4414 ext. 112.
If you have suggestions for community centers that may be good locations to distribute literature to the non-English speaking community, call SSA at 703-836-4414 ext. 113.
And if you’d like to become a volunteer and help a senior, call SSA at 703-836-4414 ext. 115, or visit our website at www.seniorservicesalex.org.
The writer is the executive director of Senior Services of Alexandria.