By Caitlyn Gudmundsen, Senior Manager Program Development and Outreach
Today’s Front Line Hero is Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota (LSSND), and the dedicated Aging Life Care staff who are delivering meals and groceries to their neighbors in Minot, ND who are unable to shop or cook for themselves.
LSSND staff Cheryl Coyle and Amy Swenson jumped into action when they learned that many elderly Meals on Wheels volunteers needed to pause their service to protect themselves from COVID-19 exposure. The two women began delivering food to members of their community every week, stopping at apartments, houses, senior living complexes, and condos to deliver well-balanced meals. The women bring joy to clients who often do not have other visitors during the lockdown. Cheryl and Amy are careful to practice social distancing and hygiene guidelines, but the interpersonal connection has been valuable for the clients, and rewarding for Cheryl and Amy.
LSSND’s Aging Life Care program helps clients navigate the complex issues and systems around aging and changing health. The Aging Life Care staff advocate for seniors, connect them to community services, and work to ensure that no one falls through the cracks. Much of their programming includes face-to-face contact, which has been put on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, Cheryl and Amy and the other Aging Life Care staff stay in contact with clients through phone calls, video chats, and by sending cards. Cheryl and Amy love delivering meals to their community members because it provides them a way to continue serving seniors in person, and they value that interpersonal contact.
Thank you to Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota’s passionate staff who are going above and beyond to serve their community during the COVID-19 pandemic!