Regency Retirement home loses Meals on Wheels funding
GRAND ISLAND, Neb. —
For 16 years the Regency Retirement Residence in Grand Island has gotten their food for residents from the Grand Generation Senior Center. Now, due to failed Older Americans Act guidelines, Regency has been refused service.
"It's less than ideal, but it's the best situation for these folks to have normalcy restored to them,” said Regency Board Chairman, Dave Richardson.
Richardson explained some of the guidelines that Regency failed.
"We didn't have a donation box that was locked, for them to put their donation in, we were just collecting that from them and taking it to the senior center and then also, you know, outreach in the community, making other people in the area know that there is a meal for seniors over the age of 60 available here,” said Richardson.
These issues are tied to Regency claiming they were unaware of their congregate status. All along, they had been operating under home delivered, or Meals on Wheels, protocol. When they realized the issue, they spoke with Grand Generation.
"They said well all of your folks will be eligible for Meal on Wheels so we'll just certify that they're eligible for Meals on Wheels and we'll individually package their meals and keep delivering them to you,” said Richardson.
However, Meals on Wheels carries different eligibility requirements for residents. With every resident now qualified, the Midland Area Agency on Aging, who approves meal eligibility, was concerned.
"So that raised some red flags because everyone was eligible, and so Midland wanted to monitor that and confirm that,” said Richardson.
After a home visit from Midland, a letter was sent to the Senior Citizens Industries, telling them to cease meals at Regency.
"Midland said do not serve, immediately stop serving meals to Regency Retirement because they couldn't verify the eligibility of our residents here,” said Richardson.
To restore the normalcy Richardson mentions, the Regency has decided to change their status.
"We think it's best to be a congregate site so that everybody can participate in that, we don't have to have people individually qualified for the home delivered meals, so anyone that wants to partake in that,” said Richardson.
This also means the facility will open its doors to the public, allowing anyone over 60 a meal and a seat at their table.