Caring Connections is a community-based visiting program for our Meal Recipients
The Terre Haute Area Meals on Wheels meal delivery service has existed since 1971. We are excited to begin adding additional programs and services, such as Caring Connections.
Caring Connections is a community outreach program designed to enhance the quality of life of the elderly, disabled, sick and homebound Terre Haute Area Meals on Wheels meal recipients.
Our desire is to develop caring relationships with our clients and their families, working to combat their social isolation and loneliness. We aim to build rapport with our clients through letters, phone calls, and eventual visits from a trained group of community volunteers.
Caring Connections Goals:
- Provide the Terre Haute Area Meals on Wheels meal recipients with a caring point of connection to the community of Terre Haute, Indiana.
- Provide much needed social contact, information about community resources, and emotional/mental stimulation for those assigned a Caring Connections volunteer.
- Train Caring Connections volunteers to develop on-going relationships with our members and their families, with an additional emphasis on dementia traning.
- Increase the interaction of the Meals on Wheels program and its meal clients, allowing us more observation of their mental and physical well-being, as well as other needs they may have.
- Increase the number of volunteers so that we can assign meal clients who were on meal service prior to 2019 when Caring Connections launched.
This much-needed program began as a partnership between the Terre Haute Area Meals on Wheels program and members of the Sugar Grove Free Methodist Church. These initial 8 volunteers helped the Meals on Wheels staff develop the program and recieved training on a variety of topics in 2018. In January of 2019 we began assigning new meal recipients to a Caring Connections volunteer.
Volunteers for this program are asked to commit to working with assigned meal clients for at least 6 months, conduct at least 2 outreach efforts a month (send a letter, call them on the phone, etc), attend training sessions, and track all of their communication with the clients. Training Sessions include information on the Terre Haute Meals on Wheels program, tips for starting conversations, how to work/talk with the ederly, specific dementia training, and other relevant topics. The Meals on Wheels program provides the materials needed for letter writing, and has phones available for calling recipients as well. Each volunteer recieves a manual for training and tracking communication.
In 2020, our goal is to begin having monthly volunteer team meetings and on-going training sessions. We hope to add 20+ new volunteers to ensure all of our meal clients can have a Caring Connections volunteer.
Please call the Terre Haute Area Meals on Wheels office at 812-232-3878 if you would like to be involved.