Care on Wheels

Along with nutritious meals, Ypsilanti Meals on Wheels is dedicated to delivering services that make aging in place safer and easier for our homebound neighbors.

Inspired by Johns Hopkins University's evidence-based CAPABLE program (Community Aging in Place - Advancing Better Living for Elders), Care on Wheels is a multi-disciplinary program designed to help remove the obstacles that make aging in place difficult, and even dangerous, for our homebound neighbors. It simultaneously eases the burdens placed on family caregivers, leaving them more time to care for themselves, or to just enjoy their loved one without the duties that come with caregiving.

University of Michigan's National Poll on Healthy Aging reveals that 88% of adults between 50 and 80 wish to live at home for as long as possible. But many, including a majority of seniors living in and around Ypsilanti, lack the physical and financial resources to make that happen. Care on Wheels is designed to help seniors make changes to their lifestyles and homes that will allow them to avoid or postpone the need for a senior living facility.

What is Care on Wheels?

  • Care on Wheels is a highly individualized, 4- to 24-week intervention designed to ease the load for caregivers of YMOW clients while improving the senior's ability to live safely at home.
  • Care on Wheels is open to YMOW clients who have someone who cares for them or helps them out on a limited, part-time or full-time basis.
  • Care on Wheels is a free program that involves our entire care team - a social worker, occupational therapist, community health worker, nurse and handyperson.

Members of this team meet with the senior and their caregiver(s) to determine what the senior needs to be safer and more confident in their home. Goals might include gaining the ability to use public transportation, achieving the ability to bathe independently, or acquiring help to perform chores around the house.

Interventions and Services Include:

  • Laundry support one to two times per month, based on need.
  • Chore support, based on need.
  • Case management to help connect with community resources.
  • Consultation with an Occupational Therapist, which can result in home modification recommendations, tips for safely moving about your home and strategies to improve independence in daily activities.
  • Nursing education and support with physical and emotional conditions, pain and medications.
  • Professional assistance with home modifications and installation of adaptive equipment.

Care on Wheels helps seniors: 

  • Learn to be more independent and take better care of themselves.
  • Get help with housekeeping and laundry.
  • Learn to safely perform household tasks.
  • Improve safety during mobility to reduce and/or prevent falls.
  • Learn to advocate for themselves with doctors and others.
  • Learn to access community resources.
  • Enjoy the company of a trained household helper.
  • Spend more quality time with their family caregiver.

Benefits for caregivers: 

  • Learn alternative strategies to improve safety of client and caregiver during hands-on help.
  • Feel more confident and supported, even from afar.
  • Enjoy peace of mind knowing household tasks are being addressed.
  • Spend less time as a caregiver and more time as a loved one.
  • Learn techniques to advocate for your senior.
  • Help your senior by reinforcing the skills they learn from Care on Wheels