Mon. Dec 4th, 2023

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio—Independence has partnered with Vista Springs Ravinia on Brecksville Rd. to provide their ongoing “Meals on Wheels” program to senior residents throughout the city.

The city still operates the Meals on Wheels program, but representatives from the assisted living community, Vista Springs, will deliver meals instead of the Community Services Department. Amber Veverka, the community services office coordinator for Independence, said the city changed caterers and delivery method, but the Community Services Department will still handle registration, eligibility checks, delivery schedules, and billing.

Vevrka said the partnership with Vista Springs came about because “we had some feedback from residents using the program and decided to go a new route with a different caterer. We are partnered with Vista Springs for other senior programs and are establishing a mutually valuable relationship with them.”

The service is available Monday through Friday during the week with one meal being delivered around lunchtime. Eligible residents for the service must be age 60 or older and residents of Independence. Those younger than 60 may be considered if they have a confirmed medical disability such as those who are homebound.

“The Meals on Wheels program is intended to be a temporary service and residents may be re-evaluated on a periodic basis to determine continued eligibility for services,” said Veverka.

Veverka said there are currently 18 residents per week taking advantage of the program, with people starting and stopping during the month based on their needs. Director of Business Development at Vista Springs, Beth Bowman, said the facility was approached by the city about taking over the program.

“[We aim] to provide as many quality meals to those who need it,” said Bowman.

She went on to say that they have a dietician on staff to ensure the meals served are nutritious. The food is prepared in the kitchen at Vista Springs, packaged there, and then delivered by a staff member.

Veverka explained that residents are given a menu to choose from up to five weeks in advance so the resident can plan ahead for their meal service. According to the city’s weekly Administrative Update, the cost is $5.50 per day.

Bowman said Vista Springs aims to offer additional support for the senior residents and build relationships with them.

“We go through additional training to [recognize] safety hazards in the home,” Bowman said. If they notice something potentially dangerous in the senior’s home, they can reach out to the resident’s family to make them aware and ensure safety.

To register for the Meals on Wheels program, residents can call the Community Services Department at 216-524-7373. A staff member will fill out an application with the resident over the phone and explain the program details.

By senior