Our Programs for Seniors

Our Programs for Seniors

MIFA’s senior programs are designed to promote independence, health, companionship, and dignity.

MIFA Meals on Wheels

This program, with the help of up to 100 volunteers, provides hot, nutritious lunches for homebound elderly and seniors at 15 congregate meal sites each weekday. MIFA’s largest program has been awarded the highest possible accreditation conferred by Meals on Wheels America.

Clients, who are homebound or at congregate sites, must be nutritionally at-risk seniors (age 60 and over) due to illness or disability and reside in Shelby County. To be screened for eligibility for Meals on Wheels, call the Aging Commission of the Mid-South at (901) 222-4111. To apply for congregate meals, you must complete an application in person at the site nearest you. Congregate sites are listed here.

MIFA Meals on Wheels served 554,162 meals to 3,784 seniors in FY17; of those clients, 1,191 received home-delivered meals, 1,292 were served at congregate sites, and and 1,323 were served through the No Hungry Senior initiative.

- 95.78% eat healthier foods as a result of the program
- 93.12% of home-delivered meal recipients believe the program helps them continue living in their own homes
- 92.61% believe the program helps them feel better

Brighten the day of a homebound senior by delivering hot Meals on Wheels on weekday mornings.

Requirements: Each volunteer must possess a valid driver’s license and proof of auto insurance. Volunteers should arrive at MIFA between 9:30 and 10 a.m. Monday through Friday to begin delivering meals. Each car will carry two coolers containing food items, and MIFA staff will provide directions through the meals route (to about ten clients’ homes). Delivering an entire route takes approximately two hours.

Click here for our volunteer handbook, or click here to download our training PowerPoint, narrated by Joe Birch. For more information, call (901) 529-4513.

Contact Us

Isaiah Swanson, Volunteer Specialist  |  (901) 529-4521  |  iswanson@mifa.org




The Transit program helps seniors get to and from doctors’ appointments, pharmacies, banks, government agencies, and congregate meal sites.

Clients must be Shelby County seniors (age 60 and over) with medical, nutritional, or counseling transportation needs.

In FY17, Transit drivers took 664 seniors on 25,358 trips to doctors’ offices, nutrition sites, and other essential destinations. 

- 90.32% believe the program helps them to stay in their own homes
- 93.85% believe the program helps them to spend time with other people
- 95.16% get out of the house more often because of the program
- 94.2% feel more independent because of this service

Contact Us

Lee Maranise, Program Director  |  (901) 529-4520  |  lmaranise@mifa.org


Senior Companion

This program pairs low-income, able seniors with homebound, disabled, or critically ill peers, helping clients with activities of daily living and providing family caregivers much-needed respite. Companions are supervised and assigned to clients by local agencies, such as Memphis Housing Authority, Veterans Administration, Plough Towers, and Church Health. 

Companions must be over age 55 and low-income, and complete 40-hour pre-service training. Clients from Shelby County are chosen by agencies who identify those with greatest need. 

In FY17, the Senior Companion program’s 73 volunteers logged 68,274 hours while serving 90 clients.

Among surveyed Senior Companions:

- 93.75% of Senior Companions reported that they feel the program allows them to be more independent
- 93.75% said the program has improved their quality of life

Among surveyed clients:

- 97.44% report that the program helps them do things they need to do
- 97.44% feel more satisfied with their lives
- 76.92% report eating regularly scheduled meals
- 64.10% feel less lonely
- 60.53% believe they are able to remain in their own homes because of the program

Contact Us

Alecia Williams, Program Manager  |  (901) 529-4532  |  awilliams@mifa.org


Long-Term Care Ombudsman

MIFA's Long-Term Care Ombudsman program advocates for residents of long-term care facilities, including nursing homes, assisted-living facilities, and residential care homes. Through regular visits by staff and specially trained volunteers, the program investigates and mediates complaints, monitors residents’ care and quality of life, and provides public education for clients and their families.

Clients must be residents or potential residents of nursing homes, assisted living care facilities, or homes for the aged in Shelby, Fayette, Tipton, or Lauderdale County.

In FY17, the Long-Term Care Ombudsman program’s 64 volunteers completed 1,673 volunteer hours while providing advocacy for the care and dignity of 4,585 seniors living in facilities.

Trained Ombudsman volunteers pay regular visits to facilities, where they spend time with residents, monitor conditions, investigate complaints, and protect residents’ rights.

Volunteers must be 21 years of age with no conflicts of interest, provide references, submit to a background check, and complete an interview. Twelve hours of training and certification are required before a volunteer may visit residents. Volunteers must be willing and able to commit to the program for a minimum of one year, visiting residents weekly and working to resolve conflicts within nursing homes and care facilities.

Click here to learn more about becoming a volunteer. 

Contact Us

Zev Samuels, District Ombudsman  |  (901) 529-4565  |  zsamuels@mifa.org