A HEALTHY DIET FUELS ONE SENIOR’S PASSION
Meals on Wheels Adds to Quality of Life
Faye Creel never expected to take up a new hobby at age 64, but she’s never been one to miss an opportunity. What began as a few classes in the local community college has led to a budding career as a painter. Now at 77 years young, she’s still going strong with the help of Meals on Wheels.
Creel is a 50-year resident of Graysville, Alabama and a member of the local Graysville Senior Center, which she joined to have more time to pursue her passions and the meals the centers provides for Creel and her husband. They have only been attending the Graysville Senior Center for about a month, but she already describes it as a “blessing.”
“The senior center is a blessing because we get a nutritious meal. He doesn’t have to shop, I don’t have to plan it or wash dishes,” says Creel. “I’ve volunteered to help here [at the senior center] a time or two, but that [lunch] was the main reason we came.
She says she enjoys not only the meals but also the fellowship she’s found with the other members of the center and the opportunity to play games and exercise.
Nutrition programs like the congregate meals served at the Graysville Senior Center are important because good nutrition and social interaction are essential for a senior’s healthy living and good quality of life. Adequate nutrition is especially important for older adults because of their increased vulnerability to chronic diseases and conditions which may impair their ability to live at home.
The Graysville site is one of 30 senior centers in Jefferson County that serve congregate meals to seniors in their local communities. The Senior Nutrition Program and Meals on Wheels, provided through United Way’s Area Agency on Aging of Jefferson County, is at risk because of proposed federal budget cuts. Both programs provide more than 324,000 meals each year to vulnerable seniors in Jefferson County.
Meals on Wheels partners with over 500 volunteers who deliver 796 meals daily to seniors throughout Jefferson County. Meeting the needs of homebound seniors is a top priority.
Unfortunately, there are nearly 2,000 seniors on a waiting list for nutrition services. The solution is increased funding and more volunteers. If you would like to donate or volunteer to help support Meals on Wheels, please reference the options below visit their website mealsonwheels-jeffco.org/donate.html
To volunteer with Meals on Wheels go to mealsonwheels-jeffco.org/volunteer.html
Creel plans to give back. She hopes to begin teaching some of the other members of the center how to paint and says that she’ll donate the proceeds of anything she paints there to the senior center.