I am writing because of a conflict I’m having with Otsego County. I am disabled and in a wheelchair, living on my own on a fixed income. I have been trying for more than a year to receive Meals on Wheels because my monthly bills push my budget to the breaking point and I need to try to save money any way I can.
The county tells me that, since I am not 60 or older, to qualify for the program, I would have to use the personal aides provided by the county. I have a personal assistant through an independent agency already, and we have a great personal relationship. Otsego County oversees this agency’s service, and has consistently cut my coverage hours, making it more and more difficult to complete my weekly tasks such as laundry, shopping, etc.
Now they’re telling me that I have to let this wonderful aide go and take on a new person (if one can be found) that I don’t know or trust, just to be able to receive the meals that will help cushion my budget. I don’t think this is fair. I have pleaded with the agency representative and contacted numerous other members of government about this, to no avail.
Another friend of mine, also disabled, had to enlist the Meals on Wheels services when she was just 22 years old. Because she was under the 60-year mark, she had to pay $3 for each of her meals. Imagine living on a noose-tight budget and having to choose between a $3 meal or paying a bill.
If anyone knows of any alternative solutions to my problem, I would appreciate hearing about them. For me, I am frustrated beyond belief, yet refuse to put a wonderful girl out of work to satisfy some bureaucratic guideline just to get much-needed meals.