Local organization fears homebound seniors are getting left behind in vaccinations

SPOKANE, Wash. — More Washingtonians are getting vaccinated every day, but there are still concerns about the state’s progress. Last week, Governor Inslee said around 300,000 seniors haven’t been vaccinated which is concerning local organizations who work with Spokane seniors.

Greater Spokane County’s Meals on Wheels is always there for homebound seniors to provide them nourishment and a friendly face when they have to remain hidden inside their home. Now, the organization is hearing stories of struggle from their clients who can’t find a way to get a vaccine.

“We have a lot of clients who do not leave their house. They have more than one physical issue going on,” said Janet Dixon, the Director of Development and Communications for Greater Spokane County’s Meals on Wheels. “The people that are in so desperate need of it [the vaccine], the people that are so vulnerable are the ones that aren’t really in the spotlight.”

Roy Basler knows the struggles homebound seniors face. His wife, Fran, is homebound for the most part. He says these people often feel left behind and forgotten.

“These poor people sit there thinking that nobody cares about them,” Basler said.

Meals on Wheels is doing its best to try and find a solution to this issue. They are working with Aging and Long-term Care, Spokane Health and Safeway to see if they can get mobile mass vaccine sites set up for their homebound clients across the county.

“Our most vulnerable population need a very specialized clinic, one that comes to them, but it’s one at a time, so there are time constraints,” Dixon said. “It’s just a problem.”

Basler says more attention needs to be brought to this issue because these homebound seniors still have a life they deserve to live.

“Just because you’re old doesn’t mean you’re all done, you know,” Basler said. “You still have a life to live, and we need to get them taken care of.”

Meals on Wheels is still doing contactless delivery to seniors across the county and says they are committed to finding a solution to help get more homebound seniors vaccinated and will continue helping their clients however they can.

If you’d like to sign up to be a volunteer or learn more about Meals on Wheels, you can find more information here.