Nutrition and fire safety served up thanks to Community Care and PECFD

PASTA AND PREVENTION- Community Care for Seniors program coordinator Teresa Shephard and Fire Prevention Officers Mike Branscombe and Greg Gorsline deliver a hot meal to a Meal on Wheels client. (Jason Parks/Gazette Staff)

JASON PARKS

STAFF WRITER

In addition to a delicious meal and some social interaction, clients taking advantage of the Community Care for Seniors ‘Meals on Wheels’ (MOW) program were paid a visit by local firefighters earlier this month.

Fire Prevention Officers (FPO)  Mike Branscombe and Greg Gorsline were making the rounds as part of fire prevention month to conduct a brief visual inspection and speak with clients about how to make their homes safer.

It’s part of a collaborative effort between Community Care and Prince Edward County Fire and Rescue.

Debbie MacDonald Moynes, Community Care Executive Director, said the initial goal was to have fire fighters making the rounds in October during Fire Prevention month proper however schedules didn’t align until the first week of November.

“This is the first time we’ve ever had firefighters deliver (MOW) and they were excited for this opportunity to meet with our clients, talk to them about safe practices, check their smoke detectors, do a visual inspection for potential hazards. etc,” MacDonald Moynes told the Gazette.

Community Care provides both hot and frozen meals to any senior aged 60+ to their door anywhere in Prince Edward County. The hot food program has been operating locally since 1980 and provides both a nutritious and delicious meal as well as a reassurance factor.

“That social interaction, even if it’s just a few minutes, it could be tho most important part of that client’s day,” MacDonald Moynes said. “ If the volunteer arrives at the door to find that the client doesn’t answer they will call the office and emergency contacts will be contacted and asked to check on the situation.”

In terms of a recent FPO visit, Branscombe said officers will conduct a visual check and if there’s anything they are concerned about, they examine any potential issue.

With over 15 years experience, Branscombe said it’s reflex at this point to walk into a residence and look for trouble.

“My eyes automatically scan for what I know could be something that leads to a situation,” Branscombe said.

In the case of a client visit earlier this month, Branscombe spied a electrical outlet splitter that should be replaced by an approved Underwriters Laboratories power strip.

“The strips have a breaker in them so if something happens, that’s where it breaks, not at the panel,” Branscombe said. “If the client happens to be on oxygen, we are looking for candles or smoking material and warning them about the dangers there.”

Branscombe also warned that anyone buying a power bar or strip should make sure it is UL approved and that the stamp is not a forgery.

For more information call Community Care’s office at 613-476-7493 for details on how to receive meals or to start the conversation about volunteering to deliver them.

Or, check the website at www.communitycareforseniors.org .