Debbie Case, CEO of the Meals on Wheels San Diego County, delivers lunch and dinner to 75-year-old David Kelly. Kelly lost his sight about two years ago and reluctantly gave up cooking. – Photo: Meals on Wheels lifeline
by Anna Gorman, Kaiser Health News
“Debbie Case held an insulated bag with two packaged meals — a sandwich wrap and fruit for lunch, a burrito and cauliflower for dinner.
“You’re going to eat well today,” Case told 75-year-old Dave Kelly as she handed him the meals. Kelly lost his sight about two years ago and reluctantly gave up cooking.
“After putting the food away, Kelly chatted with Case about his experience as a folk musician. As they talked in his living room, Case, CEO of San Diego County’s Meals on Wheels program, glanced around for hazards that could cause Kelly to fall.
“Kelly said the homemade meals keep him from eating too much frozen food or take-out. But more than that, he said he appreciates someone coming by to check on him every day.
“‘Anything could happen,’ Kelly said, adding that he worries about falling. ‘I wouldn’t want to lay around and suffer for days.’
“Meals on Wheels is undergoing a dramatic overhaul as government and philanthropic funding fails to keep pace with a rapidly growing elderly population. The increased demand has resulted in lengthy waitlists and a need to find other sources of funding. And at the same time, for-profit companies such as Mom’s Meals are creating more competition.”