Empowering Communities: Meals on Wheels' Role in Dementia Education and Support

MOW America

This week, I had the incredible opportunity to speak at the Meals on Wheels Texas Conference, where I shared our impactful Dementia Live® Experience with MOW community partners from across the state. The discussion was eye-opening and highlighted the pressing need for dementia education and awareness within our communities.

During my session, I posed a thought-provoking question to the attendees: "How many of you feel that your communities are Dementia-Ready?" Not a single positive response echoed in the packed room.

Subsequently, I asked, "How many of you have been personally touched by someone living with dementia?" About 80% of the attendees raised their hands, showcasing the widespread impact of dementia in our society.

My journey into the aging space began years ago when I had the privilege to work with an provide community wide education and support with Meals on Wheels North Central Texas. 

What a great example this organization is in serving their community at so many levels, especially rural and underserved populations. 

Meals on Wheels is renowned for its efforts in combating hunger among older adults. However, what many may overlook is its broader impact beyond food delivery. The organization addresses critical issues like social isolation, elder abuse prevention, and support for social services while fostering strong community collaborations.

One of the pillars of Meals on Wheels' outreach is community education and engagement. They recognize that tackling the multifaceted needs of older adults and persons living alone requires a collaborative approach. This rings especially true in addressing the looming public health crisis of dementia, particularly in underserved and rural communities.

The stigma surrounding dementia perpetuates misconceptions and hinders progress in addressing this crisis. Lack of knowledge often leads to a domino effect of challenges. Recognizing this, Meals on Wheels prioritizes community education to bridge these gaps and support families navigating the complexities of dementia care. They, however cannot do it alone. Connecting resources takes a strong community partnership network that works together for the greater good.  

At AGE-u-cate Training Institute, we are committed to partnering with local organizations to enhance community awareness, education, and support for persons living with dementia and their caregivers. Dr. Bashir Easter of Melanin Minded aptly said, "We must train up and train fast." This underscores the urgency of uniting stakeholders to prepare for the challenges ahead.

Building dementia-ready communities requires concerted efforts in education, collaboration, and destigmatization. Meals on Wheels and organizations like AGE-u-cate Training Institute are at the forefront of this movement, driving positive change and support for those affected by dementia. Together, we can create a more compassionate and informed society for older adults and their families.

To find out more about AGE-u-cate's work in supporting Meals on Wheels and Dementia Friendly Initiatives!Contact Us