Posted on: Wednesday 19 January 2022
Torfaen Council's Community Meals is helping older residents remain in their own homes by providing valuable wellness checks.
As well as serving up a hot meal, the service gives families peace of mind knowing that someone is checking in on their loved-ones regularly.
Beryl Ray, 79, from Thornhill, started receiving meals after coming out of hospital in 2019. Beryl was unable to cook for herself so her family made a referral to the community meals service for three days a week, which has since increased to six days a week.
Beryl said, "Community Meals is a wonderful service and the staff that visit are very helpful and friendly. The menu has many options which I get to choose from each Wednesday, the lamb dinner is particularly good."
Clive Hathaway delivers Beryl’s meals most days and said all the drivers get to know their clients and enjoy talking to them.
“We always have a quick natter discussing the weather and I make sure she is feeling fit and well.
“Mrs Ray lives alone and I think the visits take some pressure off the family knowing that any immediate concerns for her well-being can be quickly addressed and passed on to other professionals.
“I really enjoy the variety of the day. No two days are the same and every person I deliver to has a different story to tell."
All community meals drivers understand how loneliness can have a negative affect on people, both physically and emotionally.
If they have any concerns about an individual, they will contact the next of kin or social care team. They will also contact a GP or the emergency services if the person is feeling unwell.
The service costs £5 for a two-course menu and is aimed at people who live in their own homes but cannot prepare their own meals.
More than 200 residents are signed up for the service and have the option to receive a hot meal and additional tea tray items as often as they like, with no on-going contract.
Although many of those who use the service are older people, the Community Meals service is open to anyone who is unable to prepare a meal because of frailty, illness or disability.
To apply or find out more information about the Community Meals service, please visit the Torfaen website at www.torfaen.gov.uk or call 01495 766373.