+
upworthy

seniors

Joy

Meals on Wheels launches new initiative in effort to keep seniors and pets together

"I think most people would feed their pets before they feed themselves. So, this helps minimize that from happening."

Meals on Wheels now includes pet food to keep seniors and pets together.

Pets make amazing companions. They not only keep you company but it's been proven that they are great emotional support. Many senior citizens take comfort in having a furry friend around when they're living alone or caregiving for an ailing partner.

But having a pet can become a financial burden that not all elderly people can afford. Instead of doing the unimaginable, giving up their pet, some elderly people will go without eating to make sure their pets have food. Many senior citizens are on a fixed income, causing them to make difficult financial decisions including forgoing important medications and feeding their pets.

Programs like Meals on Wheels make sure that elderly individuals are eating at least one hot meal a day, and it's free of charge. Meals on Wheels is a national program that reduces elderly hunger while also helping to provide elderly people living alone with human contact.


Recently, Meals on Wheels in Berkshire County, Massachusetts, started including an addition to their program–pet food. Elder Services of Berkshire County, which has been providing meals for seniors, teamed up with Berkshire Humane Society and Berkshire Family & Individual Resources (BFAIR) to start a pet assistance program for meal recipients according to iBerkshires.com.

The Berkshire County Meals on Wheels program will deliver pet food once a month to elderly program members who cannot get to the store. Since many of the people that receive meals from the food program are on a fixed income, it's also a probability that some of the members cannot afford pet food even if they could get to the store.

Elder Services Community Services Director Kayla Brown-Wood tells iBerkshire, "I think most people would feed their pets before they feed themselves. So, this helps minimize that from happening. It's just a really great collaboration and the idea is to be able to help those people that might not have the means to come here and visit the emergency pet food bank at Berkshire Humane Society. So, it's just another way to help bridge that gap and that need in the community."

meals on wheels; pet food delivery; meals on wheels and pets; elderly care and pets; pet and elderly care

Black and tan long-coated dog with elderly man

Photo by Donna Cecaci on Unsplash

The national Meals on Wheels organization also helps elderly people keep their pets in the home by partnering with PetSmart Charities. The partnership has "helped more than 25,000 Meals on Wheels clients remain at home and together with their beloved companions," according to the Meals on Wheels website.

They don't stop with helping to provide meals for humans and their pets. Meals on Wheels helps support local programs that provide pet food, grooming services as well as veterinary services to the animals of elderly people who may not be able to afford it otherwise.

Meals on Wheels says, "97% of clients receiving pet assistance say that Meals on Wheels has made it possible for them to keep their loving companion, according to our research with partner PetSmart Charities."

The partnership between Meals on Wheels and PetSmart Charities ensures that the pets of seniors have the things they need, like cat litter, nail trims, free boarding and even transportation to the veterinarian. Pets become part of your family, and with seniors that are homebound, their Meals on Wheels delivery person and their pet may be the only interaction they receive. It's amazing to see that this essential program is not forgetting about the animal companions living with the seniors they serve.

Brian Smith's calm-inducing TikToks appeal to young and old alike.

We live in a time when the oldest among us grew up without most of the things today's youth utilize in their daily lives. No computers, no televisions, no internet, no mobile phones (much less smartphones). It's a completely different world, and that generation gap has only gotten wider the more quickly technology has advanced.

But a generation gap doesn't have to be a bad thing. In fact, there's a great deal that people from different generations can learn from one another. And one gentleman from the grandparent generation is using TikTok to celebrate those differences with the most wholesome—and oddly soothing—videos.

Brian Smith was born in the 1940s and the world has changed incredibly since then. Smith acknowledges and marvels at what's changed, while also asking questions of younger people, while also lulling everyone onto a Zen state with his David Attenborough-like voice.


In one video, he shared how strange it was that he made a phone call on his watch, which used to be used to tell time, while making a video on his phone, which used to be used to make phone calls.

@brian..smith

Making a telephone call #phone #watch #time #tiktok

Then he followed up that video with a full-circle commentary on posting that video on TikTok, which is the sound that clocks and watches used to make. Delightful.

@brian..smith

Reply to @dylancostley #watch #phone #time #tiktok

Smith often responds to the comments on his videos, such as when someone called him "W human." Just watch. Seriously wholesome.

@brian..smith

Reply to @2_millimeter_defeater_ #generations #language #youth

Frequently, Smith will pose questions to his young audience, asking them about how they use technology.

@brian..smith

Reply to @fnatma Does text have a future? #communication #text #video

His sincere curiosity and desire to learn about the sociological differences between generations is inspiring.

@brian..smith

Do you use email? #asktiktok

@brian..smith

Talk to me about usernames #name #username #handles

Definitely David Attenborough vibes, with some Bob Ross and Fred Rogers thrown in for good measure.

The gentleman even has an epic model train setup, because of course he does.

@brian..smith

Model railway #model #railway #underground #tube

Smith shares snippets of history and also weighs in on current events. He has a special interest in Russia's invasion of Ukraine because he made a Russian friend online a while back and learned to speak Russian as a result.

He shared his concerns many times in the months leading up to the invasion.

@brian..smith

William Hague in today’s Times newspaper #politics

And he's spoken out for peace along with most of the world.

@brian..smith

Reply to @green4x Peace in Ukraine #мир #peace #ukraine #украина #україна

But the generational commentary Smith shares is the best. It's great to see someone of the older generation embracing technology, remaining curious and keeping an open mind. He loves to learn and it's so fun to see him with one foot in his own generation and one in, as he says, "Generation Zed."

@brian..smith

Reply to @bmcdeez #change #history #technology

Seriously, Brian Smith. Be more lovable.

@brian..smith

I do love TikTok #fun #barber #fleetstreet

Follow @brian..smith on TikTok.

All screenshots from @lakynbowman on TikTok.

It was Grandma’s 71st birthday, and granddaughter Lakyn Bowman came up with the cutest, cleverest and most thoughtful way to honor the occasion.

Bowman (@lakynbowman) shared in a TikTok video that after going through old photos, she realized just how much they both looked alike. And so, to thank grandma for passing down the good genes, she decided to recreate each signature look. After a few rounds with curling iron, some pale blue eyeshadow and throwing on some charming floral prints (plus some filter wizardry to give the pics that retro look) the resemblance is just uncanny.

People were delighted to see such a loving tribute. The video quickly racked up over 8 million views, with more than a few comments talking about how emotional the tribute made them. Can’t say I blame 'em.

But how did grandma feel about it? Well, in a follow-up video, we see a genuine ear-to-ear smile. Suffice it to say, the idea was a hit.

As one person wrote to Bowman, “you’ll never be able to top this gift.”

It certainly helps that Bowman is vintage savvy. She even helps others find amazing secondhand items through her company Lakyn Thrifts. So getting the clothes and accessories was a piece of old-fashioned pineapple upside-down cake. And the results were just as sweet. Take a look below:

@lakynbowman Happy birthday, Grandma! Thanks for the good genes. 💕 #recreate#photoshoot #birthdayphotoshoot #vintage #grandma ♬ What Once Was - Her's

This video is not only an instant dash of joy, it’s also a heartwarming reminder that our elders provide the prologue to our life stories. Honoring them can be as simple or creative as we want them to be. But include them. As we can see with this grandma-granddaughter duo, it’ll mean the world to them.

Police arrest man suspected of scamming an elderly woman.

There has been a rise in scams against the elderly during the pandemic. According to the FBI, American seniors were scammed for $1 billion dollars in 2020, up $300 million from the previous year.

To stay connected with friends and family during the pandemic, more seniors joined social media, opening them up to new avenues for fraud.

“The combination of online shopping and social media creates easy venues for scammers to post false advertisements,” the FBI report said. “Many victims report ordering items from links advertised on social media and either receiving nothing at all or receiving something completely unlike the advertised item.”

But when scammers came after 73-year-old Jean Ebbert in Long Island, New York, they had no idea they were dealing with a law enforcement veteran. Ebbert is a former 911 dispatcher, so she knows exactly what a scam looks like.



Ebbert was texting with her son when she got a phone call from someone claiming to be her grandson who said he was in jail after being arrested for DUI. The problem was that Ebbert doesn’t have a grandson old enough to drive.

“I knew he was a real scammer. I just knew he wasn’t going to scam me,” Ebbert told CBS News.

Ebbert decided to play along with the scammer for fun. "It took about three hours of back-and-forth phone calls, maybe 15 phone calls," Ebbert told Fox News.

The fun stopped when her family told her to call the police.

At that point, Ebbert was talking to someone posing as her fake grandson’s lawyer who said he needed $8,000 in bail money. “I told him I had the money in the house, and I figured, he’s not going to fall for that. Well, he fell for that hook, line, and sinker,” she said.

When a man arrived at the door claiming to be a bail bondsman, Ebbert handed him an envelope filled with paper towels and the police sprang out of nowhere to arrest him. They charged 28-year-old Joshua Estrella Gomez with attempted grand larceny in the third degree.

She attributes her 911 training to her success. "You have to think quick. You have to be able to multitask,” she told Fox News. "I had to come up with why I had money in the house."

Local law enforcement are using the incident to remind people that scams against the elderly are rampant.

“Speak to your families. Speak to your neighbors. Visit those that are vulnerable. Let them know, don’t listen to these scams,” Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said. “These individuals sit at home and have nothing else to do but think of a way to take advantage of our elderly.”

Ebbert believes that elderly people should remain vigilant as well.

“I feel like gotcha, and I feel like, like you say, so many people fall for this and you only hear about it on the other end after they’ve lost $8,000,” she said.

It feels incredibly satisfying to see a senior citizen put one over on a scammer. But people should be careful when dealing with criminals and leave the dangerous job of law enforcement to the professionals.