Our Response to COVID-19

“She’s the Best Thing That’s Ever Happened to Me!”

June 7, 2020

To step into 89-year-old Betty Ridley’s small North Austin apartment is to take a quick trip around the globe. Commemorative plates plaster the walls of her home, each one bearing the name of a different spot on the map.

When she was younger, Ms. Ridley and her late husband, John, loved to travel. And Mr. Ridley’s career in the U.S. Army made it possible for them to see the world. “We got plates from everywhere we could,” recalls Ms. Ridley. “I know I’ll never get back to a lot of places that are up there [on the walls]. But that’s okay, I’ve been, I’ve seen, I’ve done.”

These days, travelling any distance at all is extremely challenging for Ms. Ridley. She suffers from rheumatoid arthritis and that, along with other health issues, stripped her of the ability to cook for herself or clean the apartment where she lives alone. Fortunately, Meals on Wheels Central Texas In-Home Care is there for her - ensuring she is able to age in place with dignity and comfort in her own home.

Ms. Ridley’s attendant, Krystal Horn, spends four hours every weekday helping her with the activities of daily living.  “I’ve had Krystal for two years and she’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me!  She washes my clothes and puts them away, she cleans my house and makes up the bed every day. She even helps me sew. I can’t sew anymore, so she’ll hem up my pants,” says Ms. Ridley. And Krystal is happy to be of service. “[Ms. Ridley] means a lot to me. I’m glad that I’m able to help her. It makes me feel good to do these things for her,” she says.

Ms. Ridley appreciates the TLC she gets from Krystal and Meals on Wheels Central Texas In-Home Care. Ms. Ridley even considers Krystal to be part of her family: “She’s more than just pleasant to be around. She even calls me on the telephone to say hello and let me know that I’m wanted. I like Meals on Wheels [In-Home Care]. It’s a lifesaver. I probably wouldn’t be here now if it wasn’t for them!”