While many people are aware of the DuPage Senior Citizen Council (DSCC) Home Delivered Meals (“Meals on Wheels”) program, not everyone is aware of another valuable service that accompanies it – the Well Being Check. DSCC’s Well Being Checks provide a formalized system for volunteers to check on the mental and physical health of the seniors we assist – and an Emergency Follow Up procedure for any senior who was expected to be at home but does not answer the door.
Employees from the TriZetto Group in Naperville have been volunteering to deliver meals for DSCC to Naperville seniors since 2003. Three TriZetto employees – Kathy Levenberg of Naperville, Elizabeth Meza of Oswego, and Margaret Matke of Rolling Meadows – currently share the responsibility of delivering meals five days per week during their lunch hour.
Recently, volunteer Margaret Matke found a senior in distress during the meal delivery. At her first meal delivery stop of the day, Matke knocked on the door, but the senior did not answer. Because Matke’s training in Well Being Checks told her that this might be an indication of a problem, she followed DSCC’s emergency procedures and contacted a neighbor who had a spare key to the senior’s apartment.
Upon entering, Matke and the neighbor found the senior unconscious on the floor. She immediately called 911 and then contacted the DSCC site manager to report the incident. The police arrived while Matke was on the phone, and DSCC’s site manager was able to assist the emergency responders by providing the senior’s emergency information as the senior was transported to the hospital.
Thanks to the orientation and training provided by DSCC, volunteer Matke knew exactly how to respond to the situation and how to assist the emergency responders.
Incidents like this happen several times a year, which is why all DSCC volunteers are trained to identify and respond to potential emergencies.
“Instead of just leaving the scene, Margaret contacted 911 and our paramedics made entry to the home and treated the patient,” noted Naperville Fire Chief Mark Puknaitis. “It is efforts such as this that give our citizens every chance at survival during most difficult times. Not only do we recognize Margaret but also want to extend our thanks to the Trizetto Group and all the fine employees that contribute to programs such as meals on wheels.”
Did you know? The DuPage Senior Citizens Council (DSCC) is a notfor- profit 501(c)(3), volunteer-driven organization, dedicated to helping seniors live with safety and dignity. Since 1975, DSCC has provided a variety of programs and services for seniors, including Home-Delivered Meals (Meals on Wheels), Community Dining, Home Maintenance and Chore Days, Health and Wellness Education, and Well-Being Checks.