Delivering More Than a Meal

For the last 53 years, MOWLB has provided nutritional meals and friendly visits to our neighbors in need. We service not only the elderly and disabled, but also the homebound, incredibly low income, and isolated members of our community. In this time, we discovered much greater needs within our community including critical living situations, hygiene problems, and lack of access to resources. After observing these issues for years, we have developed the Client Support Program to accommodate these needs and assist our clients beyond their daily meal deliveries. The Client Support Program aims to ensure all basic needs of clients are met and they can remain safe, comfortable, and happy in their own homes for as long as possible.

The Client Support Program started with our mission to provide “more than a meal” and since its origination, has grown substantially to expand services as we discover additional unmet needs for our clients including partnership with CSULB Nursing students, the creation of the Telephone Reassurance Program, and growing partnerships with local organizations.

Click the tabs below for more information on our various programs

Since 2017, Meals on Wheels of Long Beach (MOWLB) has hosted two classes of Nursing Students from California State University, Long Beach in the Spring, Summer, and Fall semesters. These BSN students under the guidance of Dr. Phyllis Cooper, DNP, RN, PHN, CNS are assigned to a set of MOWLB clients that need extra assistance and attention.

Throughout the 10 weeks spent with us, students provide health assessments and therapeutic socialization© to low-income, homebound, and high risk MOWLB clients. In turn, these students receive practical experience in establishing therapeutic relationships, gathering medical histories, assisting with finding resources, problem solving daily life issues and providing education to clients.

During this time, they also gain insights into the struggles many people face after leaving the hospital that may not be apparent in a medical facility. These issues include a lack of access to the internet, financial strain, home management and upkeep, and issues with transportation, all of which contribute to further difficulties as they attempt to navigate health insurance issues and obtain necessary resources following a hospital visit. In combination with their classroom courses, these real-world experiences in the client’s home environment aid in shaping a multifaceted public health education for future nurses who will care for our community in the years to come. Ultimately, this program supports MOWLB clients’ abilities to remain safe, nourished, and comfortable in their homes for as long as possible.

Initiated in 2022, the Telephone Reassurance Program provides friendly and supportive calls to MOWLB clients Monday - Friday to encourage ongoing socialization. Calls take place at an agreed upon time and are conducted by both volunteers and staff. Calls consist of a general check-in with each client followed by a friendly chat about whatever it is the client wishes to talk about that day. This provides a unique platform for clients to build deeper connections, friendships, and gain additional support beyond their daily meal deliveries and friendly visits.

Social isolation is a major concern among our homebound clients, particularly the elderly. Research has shown a link between social isolation and both mental and physical health issues including high blood pressure, heart disease, anxiety, depression, dementia, cognitive decline and more. Through the Telephone Reassurance Program, we are providing an additional means of support for those that are socially isolated and reduce the potential for associated health risks.

In the cases that MOWLB is not able to provide services that a client needs, we host an extensive referral program among other local nonprofits and organizations. When connecting a client with another organization, MOWLB ensures each client receives adequate support throughout the entire process. In addition to referrals, MOWLB facilitates donations of needed mobility equipment and care supplies including walkers, wheelchairs, bedding, and personal hygiene items to those in the most need.
All item donations are provided based on availability and cannot be guaranteed.

Staff are certified gatekeepers for Alzheimer’s patients and mandated reporters of elder abuse and neglect. When extreme cases present themselves and immediate aid is needed, the MOWLB Client Manager will call Adult Protective Services. Our highest priority is the safety and wellbeing of all clients, including those with memory issues. We use all necessary available resources to accomplish this.

Read more about our community partners below

  • Pathways provides low and sometimes no-cost assistance to those in need of caregivers, housecleaning, transportation, grief support, and health insurance navigation. When an MOWLB client expresses a need for one of these services, a staff member will reach out to the Pathways office and, with the client’s consent, provide their information. Pathways will then reach out to the client, asses their needs, and discuss care options available. Throughout this process, MOWLB maintains an active role, working closely alongside Pathways.

  • Although MOWLB provides pet food and supplies to those clients with pets as part of the Pet Support Program, many clients need additional pet aid. In these cases, the MOWLB Client Manager will connect them with Heart of Ida, who can provide dog-walking services for those that are no longer able to do so with their own pets.
    In addition to pet support, Heart of Ida also conducts thorough in-home fall prevention assessments and interventions including installation of safety grab bars that will enable clients to remain safely and independently at home.

  • For those MOWLB clients that reside in the city of Long Beach, Senior Links, a program within the City of Long Beach’s Healthy Aging Center, provides support in the form of public health nursing and social work services to adults 55 and over. Much like MOWLB, Senior Links renders services to enable seniors to continue living safely and independently in their home including transportation services, personal care, house cleaning, nutrition assistance, mental health care, and access to health care providers.