Dallas Meals on Wheels Respond to Coronavirus Concerns
Agency serves seniors who are a high risk group for coronavirus
By Ken Kalthoff
The Visiting Nurse Association which runs Meals on Wheels has new supplies of hand sanitizer to be used before each meal delivery, and volunteers are armed with bilingual fliers with information on fighting coronavirus and allaying fears.
The Dallas Visiting Nurse Association that runs Meals on Wheels in the Dallas area has boosted education and adjusted procedures to respond to coronavirus concerns.
Seniors are the target for Dallas Meals on Wheels and a high risk group for coronavirus.
A new bilingual flier was delivered with meals Thursday, to help combat disease and fears.
“We’re really trying to clarify for all of our seniors how to protect themselves and their families and then we’re educating all of our employees and volunteers that deliver our meals, how to protect themselves and our clients,” said Dallas VNA Vice President Olivia Rogers.
Volunteers and employees involved with meal preparation and delivery are using hand sanitizer between every delivery and avoiding hugs that often accompanied home visits in the past.
As his meal was delivered Thursday, Meals on Wheels Client Randy Hughes said he has been concerned about the things he’s heard about coronavirus.
“I was, because it’s a big thing,” Hughes said.
Cancellation of professional sporting events and news about scientific research how the virus may be transmitted made him think it is a serious problem.
“It must be. Airborne too, airborne too,” Rogers said.
The VNA people who deliver meals are sometimes the only social contact for seniors who have been watching all the alarming news.
“Communication is the key to keep the fear down,” said VNA Communications Director Jennifer Atwood Austin “We can combat fear and just give them facts and arm them with the information they need to stay safe.”
The VNA flier delivered Thursday shows hand-washing procedures recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It includes a phone number for client to reach a VNA nurse to help answer questions.