We will be doing assessments with every current client very soon! These assessments are required to access funding for programming. Seniors must complete the required assessment to be in the Meals on Wheels program. Seniors can start the assessment process by calling Meals on Wheels at (906) 483-1155.
We will not be taking any new clients while we are assessing, but will take names for a wait list, and help point people to our other food services, including congregate sites and carry out from congregate sites.
All About Assessments
At Copper Shores Meals on Wheels, we pride ourselves in the relationships we make with those we serve. For us to develop those relationships in the best way possible, we complete semiannual in-home assessments. We do this to get to know each person we serve on an individual level, to understand what unique needs each person has and to complete required paperwork to fund our program.
What is an in-home assessment?
Our trained assessor Jessica Mills will make an appointment to visit your home. While there she will sit and talk with you about your life, your current home situation and about what your current diet / nutritional experience looks like. Mills will also walk around your home with you to make sure you aren’t having any difficulties with activities of daily living. We’ll also discuss any assistance you currently receive and answer a plethora of questions that funders like the Upper Peninsula Commission for Area Progress (UPCAP) requires.
It’s important to note that seniors are not required to answer any question and everything we do is non-judgmental. We simply want to help people be safe and live in as healthy of an environment as possible. A senior and their family might not even realize a risk in their household, but our trained assessor will help identify potential issues and make needed connections to solve any issues.
When does an assessment take place?
Copper Shores Meals on Wheels will schedule an initial in-home assessment within 14 days of joining the program, and complete reassessments every six months.
Who completes the assessment?
Meals on Wheels has added Jessica Mills to their staff in the role of Assessor. Mills joined the local non-profit’s staff in May.
Mills has transitioned into the role well in part thanks to the help of outgoing assessor Caitlin Sundblad.
Initial assessments are done over the phone with seniors. Mills then visits their home in an effort to get to know each person Meals on Wheels serves on an individual level, to understand what unique needs each person has and to complete required paperwork to fund the program.
All Meals on Wheels participants who receive meals delivered to their homes are required to complete assessments. Data gathered during the assessment is provided to Upper Peninsula Commission for Area Progress (UPCAP).
Get to know Mills by reading her introduction: https://coppercountryseniormeals.org/jessica-mills-new-assessor/
How does an assessment happen?
Mills will reach out to seniors via phone to schedule a time. For this to be as meaningful for everyone involved as possible, this should take place in the home of the senior. Scheduling is flexible. During the assessment, Caitlin will flow through a series of questions outlined by Michigan Office of Services to the Aging.
Family members are welcome to join. That is especially recommended if the senior has dementia. Family members who can’t attend in person are welcome to do it via phone or video call.
“We’re here to help people, not make things harder.” – Preceding Meals on Wheels Assessor Caitlin Sundblad
Why are assessments important?
Assessments are required for Copper Shores Meals on Wheels from its funders, which include the State of Michigan through Upper Peninsula Commission for Area Progress (UPCAP). While we are forced to do this, we can confidently say the results of these in-home assessments have huge benefits for the seniors and for the staff at Copper Shores Meals on Wheels. We can provide a better individualized service to participants, we often hear about feedback that shapes the future of our program during these assessments, and we are often able to make suggestions to seniors to make their daily living situations better or to other agencies who can help such as Community Action, At-Home Companions or Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly.
“Ultimately Meals on Wheels helps people remain home as long as possible because of the meal they receive and the regular check in. This assessment takes it to the next level because if they do need help with other things, we’re able to help people get that assistance. Many people have little tips and tricks they’ve picked up or made up to help them live at home longer, and as an assessor I pick up on those things. I can help bring those little things into other people’s houses. Every situation is unique, and each senior is different in what they experience.” – Preceding Meals on Wheels Assessor Caitlin Sundblad