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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Friday, January 05, 2018

Tales of a Meals on Wheels Driver

Dale Sourbeck
When he was sworn in on Tuesday as Northampton County Executive, Lamont McClure made clear in a very brief address what bothers him most- children and elderly people who are at risk. He has good reason. Just two weeks before he assumed office, Pennsylvania's Department of Aging gave Northampton County a failing grade for its response to elder abuse complaints. One investigator was saddled with a caseload three times the state mandated limit.

Unfortunately, our elderly really are at risk,and that  point was brought home at last night's County Council meeting by Dale Sourbeck. He is a volunteer with Meals on Wheels, and delivers every day. In fact, he heps train new volunteer drivers.

In addition to providing 500,000 meals a year, Sourbeck said he can check in on people and make sure everything is OK. On four occasions over the past six years, he found his clients lying on the floor, unable to get up. On two occasions, these people had fallen and and just laid there the entire weekend, unattended. in one instance, a person was unconscious. In another, a woman had passed away.

In addition to finding people in physical distress, there have been instances in which clients have complained that relatives are stealing money. He has made referrals in those instances. 

As baby boomers reach retirement age, you might think meals and wheels is well-funded. But in 2017, there were 23 million fewer meals served than in 2005.


Anonymous said...

where can on e sign up for meals on wheels?

Bernie O'Hare said...


Anonymous said...

This is a very serious issue that has been neglected in Northampton County for years. I am glad to hear McClure has an interest in this problem. Being a resident of Bethlehem Bernie please allow me to recommend two former (retired)City employees that worked very well with the public both put in many extra hours to help people. The first was Dana Grubb who was the assistant CED Director and the second was Mike Palos who was the head of Housing and helped many elderly and children in bad rental or home situations. Both attended block watch meetings on their own time to hear the issues and would take care of them in a very timely manner. McClure would be very smart to contact both of them for these needed positions.

Anonymous said...

Positions in Aging department are civil service positions and protective service positions are bid on by current employees in the various human services programs. if no one in house bids on the jobs a list from Civil Service would be requested and top 3 scoring candidates would be interviewed.

Anonymous said...

The issue of seniors falling and not being able to get up is way to common. That life alert thing or equivalent may be a solution, and no I am not soliciting. My mom fell on two occasions, breaking a hip each time. She could get to the phone in one case, not the other. This was 11 years ago - these days most people have cell phones. One or the other - make sure your elder has a way of getting help if they live alone and can't move. People think they can do everything they used to - it is human nature. At some point the body or mind doesn't happen and they fall.

Anonymous said...

Meals on Wheels of Northampton County can also be reached at 610-691-1030