By RUTH LILJENQUIST
Sally Lucier, 77, doesn’t really know why she gradually lost her eyesight, and she’s hoping it’s not permanent, but there’s no doubt it has changed her life completely.
“You don’t realize how much you depend on your sight until it’s gone,” Sally said. “I really had to slow down.”
Sally moved to Yuma about five years ago, after living 40 years in the San Francisco area. Her small income from Social Security was not enough to meet the high cost of living there. At the time of her move, she still had some vision, but a few years later, her eyesight grew worse, and she found that she couldn’t care for herself as she once had.
One significant challenge was that she could no longer cook for herself. Even if she could figure out what ingredients to use and how much, she was afraid of using a hot stove or oven. Sally’s case manager suggested that she enroll in a program to receive home delivered meals through Catholic Community Services in Western Arizona. The program delivers between five and seven nutritionally balanced meals a week to the homes of homebound or frail low-income seniors.
Sally was initially reluctant, thinking that the food would not be very tasty. But she agreed, and she’s never regretted it.
“It’s been a godsend,” said Sally. “And the meals are excellent. [CCS] really cares about making good meals.”
CCS’s Senior Nutrition program helps Sally and other homebound seniors get one good square meal a day, which not only allows them to remain independent and in their own homes, but provides vitally important nutrition.
Seniors are encouraged to supplement the delivered meals with food they can prepare for themselves, thus avoiding the malnutrition that is common among low-income seniors.
Sally leads a quiet life in her small studio apartment. She doesn’t go out much—too much hassle to get someone to take her. She listens to audiobooks which a volunteer from the library brings by every few weeks and she enjoys the biweekly visits and help of a home care assistant. And when it comes to eating, she supplements her meals from CCS with a bowl of cereal in the morning and a slice of pizza in the evening.
“The meals have been tremendously helpful, without a doubt,” said Sally. “I ask myself, ‘What did I eat before?’ I can’t remember. Probably a lot of top ramen.”
For more information
Catholic Community Services of Southern Arizona operates senior nutrition programs in several places in Southern Arizona, providing home delivered meals and congregate dining for seniors. For more information, contact the program in your area.
Pima and Pinal Counties: Catholic Social Service at (520) 624-1562
Cochise County: Catholic Community Services in Southeastern Arizona at (520) 255-0693
Yuma, Somerton, and San Luis: Catholic Community Services in Western Arizona at (928) 782-4489