Becky turned 96 in August. She lives on her own in a tidy, cozy home filled with artwork from her children and artefacts from the 35 years she spent in Africa. She has been widowed for 17 years.

She is fiercely independent. Like most Canadians, she wants to age in place at home. Over three-quarters of Canadians (78 per cent) want to age in their current homes. But she needs helping hands. She uses a walker and she has trouble with her hands.

“My hands feel as if they are full of sand,” she explains. She can prepare her porridge in the morning but would find it extremely challenging to prepare a full meal.

That’s why United Way’s More than Meals program is literally a lifesaver for Becky. Every Monday she gets a call to see what she would like from the menu. Frozen entrees are delivered on Thursdays together with a friendly visit. “They just come in and slip it on the counter.” Desserts are a pleasant surprise. “Last week I got a nice piece of chocolate cake,” adds Becky with a smile.

United Way believes that seniors and elders should be able to age with dignity and respect, have access to healthy and nutritious meals and supportive companionship.

Approximately 50% of people over the age of 80 report feeling lonely

Many seniors on Southern Vancouver Island experience extreme loneliness, malnutrition, mobility issues and limited income. COVID-19 amplified these challenges: social interactions with friends and family, grocery shopping, in-person doctor’s appointments, and outdoor activities became extremely limited. The result was increased isolation, depression and anxiety, as well as food insecurity.

Even as we recover and re-open, the needs for seniors in the community remains high. United Way’s More than Meals program is there when seniors need it most. Healthy meals are delivered directly to people’s homes together with critically important social visits from a group of dedicated volunteers.

Let’s respect the legacy of our seniors and elders and ensure they are well looked after. If you are able, please consider a gift to United Way’s More than Meal program. Donate today!