United Way supports health services, training for seniors

United Way's Pam Gregory, left, with MAC Inc.'s dietician Karla Beardsley, center, and Michael Foster, in front of the Meals On Wheels van provided to help local senior citizens.

United Way’s Pam Gregory, left, with MAC Inc.’s dietician Karla Beardsley, center, and Michael Foster, in front of the Meals On Wheels van provided to help local senior citizens.

In the year ahead, United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore will provide support of critical health and job training services for hundreds of local seniors through partnership with MAC Inc., the area agency on aging.

United Way Community Impact Funding in the amount of $186,500 has been designated for the Meals on Wheels, Senior Aides Job Training and Alzheimer’s Day programs.

MAC’s Meals on Wheels program, supported by United Way since 1996, provides daily home delivered meals to seniors, enabling many to remain independent.

In 2015, United Way’s funding will provide one in every three home delivered meals for over 675 individuals. In addition to delivering a nutritious meal, volunteers check on the seniors’ well-being and make sure they have no medical issues, providing relief to some of the anxieties that seniors have that live alone.

Meals on Wheels recipient, Ronnie Tilghman notes that the program, “means so much to someone that is homebound (for nearly two years) with little or no outside contact. When someone has no immediate family to depend on, having a caring person is a real advantage.”

Additional United Way funding will ensure 75 low income seniors will receive essential job training and employment opportunities within nonprofit and government agencies through the Senior Aides Job Training program and 134 individuals will receive respite support for memory-impaired seniors and their caregivers through the Alzheimer’s Day Program.

Since 1985, United Way has devoted more than $3 million to improving quality of life for seniors in Wicomico, Worcester, Somerset and Dorchester counties of partnership with MAC Inc.

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