The Los Angeles Times recently ran a story titled, Central Florida seniors: The hidden face of hunger. As the title indicates, the story highlights how hunger is becoming a bigger problem for seniors. A variety of problems contribute to seniors not getting enough to eat, including medical problems, lack of transportation and not having anybody to help them obtain adequate food supplies. And when we add to this list of problems the bad economy, the problem is dramatically compounded.
The Los Angeles Times piece documented one couple who spent their life savings on medical bills, and had little left to procure even basic necessities. At the end of their life, they relied solely on six weekly meals delivered by a public program for sustenance. Without this meal delivery service, this couple would be unable to purchase the food they need. This story shows how hunger has grown from an issue unique to developing nations to one that is seriously impacting America’s seniors.
As in Florida, Arizona has a meal delivery program for the elderly, known as Meals on Wheels. The Arizona Meals on Wheels program varies from city to city, but it may provide both home delivered meals and meals in a congregate setting. The program’s costs also vary from city to city, as do the requirements that seniors must meet to be eligible for the program. Arizona Medicaid members will be pleased to learn that ALTCS/Medicaid may cover the costs of Meals on Wheels. Contrary to popular belief, ALTCS/Medicaid covers a continuum of services, and Meals on Wheels is one of the covered services.
Current Arizona/Medicaid members may want to speak with their ALTCS case manager about the Meals on Wheels program. Moreover, seniors who are not ALTCS members may want to consider ALTCS planning to help them obtain ALTCS eligibility. An Elder Law attorney may be a good resource for seniors wondering how to best qualify for Arizona Medicaid.