Those who deliver meals to the elderly and provide them with vital transportation to hospital appointments can often be the only contact an elderly person has with the outside world.
Faulkner County Council on Aging in Arkansas not only provides around 400 meals a day to the elderly in the area but also a transportation program that covers about 98,000 miles a year which helps elderly people get to vital appointments.
Not every elderly person still living on their own has family living nearby or neighbors to help them which is why services like this county council offer can sometimes mean the difference between life or death.
One elderly man could have lost his life Thanksgiving week if it wasn’t for Meals on Wheels driver Daniel Dykes.
The good Samaritan was scheduled to drive the man to his dialysis appointment on Nov. 24, but when he knocked on the door there was no answer.
The door was locked so Daniel looked through the glass door and saw the tip of his shoe by the door indicating the senior was on the floor.
“He knows the habits of the senior, so he quickly sprang into action by calling me, then 911,” Kathy Wyrick, who has worked closely with the senior, said.
Conway police officers arrived and were able to open the door. According to the Log Cabin Democrat, it was Officers Brandon Huff and Michael Bruno who helped, as well as firefighter Rick Stapleton.
‘We knew they were still alive’
Kathy who also works for the county council later posted about the rescue on Facebook.
“I delivered meals to the senior during summer, so I knew exactly where he was,” she wrote. “When I arrived, I could see a portion of the senior’s face through a small crack in the opened door.
“I spoke to them and told them that we were there with them and an ambulance was on the way. When the senior finally tilted their head slightly, we knew that they were still alive.
“The CPD, Conway Fire Department and ambulance driver treated the senior respectfully while loading onto the gurney,” Wyrick continued. “(Thank you to them for all that they did in gaining access and more!)
Offering much more than nutrition
“The senior has to have dialysis to live, so it was likely that they would not have survived until Monday, which would have been the next time that we would have seen them.
“We often say that our home delivered meals are much more than nutrition. Those who deliver are also a guaranteed contact. That same thing can be said for the transportation that we provide.
“Had Daniel not been there on Wednesday, the senior would not have been able to reach their phone to call for help due to how weak that they were and the distance it was to their phone.
“A special thank you to Daniel for his quick thinking. And a huge thank you to each person who supports us!” she said.
Daniel saved this man’s life; I’m glad he arrived at his home at just the right time.
Workers like Daniel and Kathy provide an invaluable service but are often overlooked. Help us thank them by sharing this story.