Man who could lose Meals on Wheels feels policy should change - New York News

Man who could lose Meals on Wheels feels policy should change

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Herbert Alford  (Credit: Fox 2 News) Herbert Alford (Credit: Fox 2 News)
DETROIT (WJBK) -

His pain is so severe.  His body is betraying him.  Herbert Alford's nimble fingers once painted and played the piano.  Now his hands tremble so badly he can barely use them.

At 85 years old, he's battling Parkinson's and spinal stenosis.  Alford can barely walk.  Instead he sits and sleeps in a chair with his TV, his mail and his meals from Meals on Wheels surrounding him.

"I find it difficult even to walk to the kitchen to warm it up.  Sometimes I eat [it] cold.  I don't mind eating [it] cold.  I've gotten used to it," said Alford.

He relies on Meals on Wheels for his food.  They provide five frozen meals for the week and bread and juice.  But he's worried his food won't be delivered any more.

"I'm all bent over.  I can't fix food, and yet they're threatening to discontinue it," Alford said.

He showed us the letter telling him his meals are over.

"At this time your home delivered meals will be discontinued," it read in part.  All because he won't agree to an assessment every six months.  He says he's elderly, homebound and obviously in need.  It's not like he's getting any younger.

"I said no I can't be bothered walking to the door to answer the same questions over," said Alford.  "I can't do for myself.  What more information do they need?"

Alford was a nurse for 47 years.  He's still sharp and maybe even a bit stubborn, but he refuses to give Meals on Wheels or anybody else any medical or financial information.

I contacted Meals on Wheels.  They told me they don't want to cut Alford off.  The problem is it's a federal requirement that they reassess all of their clients every six months to make sure they're still qualified.

Meals on Wheels is looking into Alford's case to make sure he still receives his food.

"They're wasting money by sending someone every so often to ask the same questions," Alford said.  "I'm going to fight for the senior people."

"I think that what they need to do is look over their policies and draw up a new policy that fits everybody not just me," he added.

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