Recipients of Rural Northwest Health meal vouchers describe the initiative as “marvellous”, and one which gives them the opportunity and freedom to get out of home and socialise.
Acting Home Support Coordinator Jason O’Brien (pictured) said the program was developed to provide eligible recipients a greater choice in the variety of meals they can access, as well as the time and location that they can receive those meals.
“I am excited to be part of this program as well as the many others that the Home Support Program at Rural Northwest Health provides for the community,” he said.
“To be eligible, participants need to be over the age of 65 and must meet the criteria of the Commonwealth Home Support Program through an assessment from My Aged Care”.
Complementing RNH’s existing Meals on Wheels program, participants are able to use one voucher (to the value of $10) per day on food.
Vouchers can be used towards the cost of a meal at participating businesses. The businesses will accept the voucher and reduce $10 off the cost of the meal, so that participants only have to pay the difference.
Eligible persons can access one voucher booklet every 30 days, with new booklets available from the Home Support team once all of the current vouchers have been used.
To reach the team phone 5396 1244.
Voucher recipient Christine, 69, has Multiple Sclerosis and uses a cane and walker to get around.
“The vouchers are absolutely fantastic,” she said.
“They are very handy when you live fortnight to fortnight.
“I join my girlfriends for a social gathering each Friday and, without the voucher, I wouldn’t be able to join each week.
“They are a great support”.
For Patricia, 80, the vouchers give her an opportunity to enjoy a special meal with her husband that she doesn’t need to cook.
“They definitely help money-wise; I don’t need to think twice about whether I can go out or not,” she said.
“Keep it going”.
“The vouchers are absolutely fabulous,” Marion, 85 said.
“I love them,
“They save my brain from having to work out what to cook each night, and give me a treat every now and then,” she said.
“Although we seniors sometimes feel a bit guilty because it wasn’t done in our era, it’s also a chance to get down the street and socialise.”
And for Coral, 74, the vouchers give her husband and carer Len, also 74 a break.
“We enjoy the pot and parma nights at The Palace, as well as the occasional Sunday breakfast,” Len said.
“The social side is absolutely amazing, and it gives people who live on their own a great chance to enjoy a meal, or even a coffee and cake,” he said.
“We don’t drink or smoke so this is our little treat.”
Coral said the couple couldn’t go out as often without the support of the vouchers.
“Rural Northwest Health is the only place that offers the meal vouchers and they’re marvellous,” she said.