Elder Benefit Specialist

National Volunteer Week this year is April 18-24 and Elderly Services is grateful for the many wonderful staff and volunteers that have exceeded expectations in providing quality services to seniors in Marinette County.

As a private, non-profit agency, Elderly Services relies on our dedicated volunteers and staff to cook, package and deliver meals along with many other kitchen duties to keep our Nutrition Program running smoothly. Other volunteers who make a huge difference are Volunteer Medical Escort Drivers who put in hundreds of hours each year taking frail elderly to medical appointments. Don Denis, a medical escort volunteer of 16 years says, “Being a volunteer driver gives me something meaningful to do, and I enjoy talking with all the people.”

Providing services during a pandemic has been extremely challenging, but thanks to the time and dedication of our staff and volunteers in our Nutrition Program, Transportation Program and Benefit Counseling Program, we have been able to continue the same quality in our programming as always. Mary Kay Shaw, a dedicated volunteer and assistant cook for several years expressed, “Elderly Services is a great place to work, and we love serving the people. We miss them and can’t wait until they come back in person.”

Elderly Services always strives to assure that the community, county and state are made aware of and respond to the needs of disabled individuals and older persons reaching age 60 and beyond who experience financial, physical, psychological or social limitations due to old age or illness. We assure that appropriate services are developed and supported to meet these needs and that older persons have adequate access to these services.

While the pandemic has posed several challenges, it has not caused a halt in allowing us to follow the mission of Marinette County Elderly Services. The Meals on Wheels Program assisted 551 homebound older persons in maintaining a longer, healthier and more fulfilled life by providing over 46,207 Meals on Wheels in 2020. Elderly Services encourages self-sufficiency, family and community interdependence. The program helps frail older adults remain part of their community, and many seniors credit the program as the reason they are able to stay in their home as long as they have.

In addition to providing a well-balanced meal and nutrition education, our Meals on Wheels Program offers ongoing personal contact, as well as information and resources regarding public benefits. We also make referrals to other agencies. Our site managers call the participants often to check in on them and evaluate if there is anything more we can do or help with. The above services are especially important for participants who have little or no loved ones in the area. It is because of the dedication of qualified staff and volunteers that we are able to continue providing the best possible services. The Meals on Wheels Program is more than just a meal; it is truthfully a prevention program. Every meal delivery comes with a wellbeing check and a smile.

If you know a volunteer, be sure to thank them for what they do. The time, energy, and passion they put into their community is irreplaceable.