Meals on Wheels drivers are depended on by many who lack the ability to leave their home for groceries.
One such driver was tasked with having to go above and beyond her usual duties recently, while visiting a Langley client.
Volunteer Lesley Wells was completing her regular delivery route when one of the residents did not answer the door.
“I went back to my car so I could get my phone so I could call and not disturb the client,” Wells said. “On my way, I could see her lying on the floor through the window. Luckily the door was open so I could go in.”
The 95-year-old client had fallen earlier in the day and was not able to get up on her own.
“She just wanted me to help her up, but I wasn’t sure how long she’d been there so I phoned 9-1-1 and stayed with her until they arrived 45 minutes later,” Wells explained.
The client later passed away in the hospital, but was under medical care at the time due to Wells’ efforts. Meals on Wheels also contacted the client’s emergency contact after she was taken to hospital.
“It does prove the benefits of Meals on Wheels. It’s not just a delivery service,” Wells added. “Not everyone has someone close to them, so a lot of times we are the only contact they get.”
Volunteer drivers are trained before they begin delivering for Meals on Wheels through a series of classes. They are taught to look for signs of health issues and how to handle instances if they do find a client in distress.
Wells said she has been volunteering for the organization in different capacities during the past seven years.
“This was the first time something like this happened.”
Clients who rely on the program range from senior citizens to disabled people of all ages who are unable to leave their home on their own.
Wells also said that the summertime is when Meals on Wheels is in particular need of volunteers because of holidays and people’s shifting availability.
“I thoroughly love it,” Wells added. “If you like people, it’s a nice job. I started because I always thought that I would be a senior one day, too. It’s very rewarding.”
Delivery driver positions and office leadership roles are available for anyone interested in getting involved.
People can visit www.lmow.ca to find more information or to fill out a volunteer application.
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