March 13th, 2023 | Kelsie Owen
Food insecurity is a complex problem affecting millions of Americans. Older adults are especially susceptible to food insecurity due to fixed income and lack of access to healthy foods. We know that proper nutrition in older adults is vital to decrease the risk of malnutrition, manage overall health and reduce hospital stays. Making healthy foods more affordable and accessible is key to older adults’ ability to remain safe, independent and in their own homes. Did you know that according to the Administration for Community Living, almost 50 percent of older American are malnourished. Keep reading for tips to stay properly nourished as you age in place.
Here is a list of tips to promote healthy eating:
Healthy eating is more than just choosing nutritious foods and dieting. Below are some other things to consider when managing your nutritional health.
Accessing nutritious, healthy and affordable foods may seem like an impossible endeavor for older adults who have limited income or transportation options to access the grocery store. Often there are resources throughout your community to assist with these challenges. The Nutrition Program through Aging & In-Home Services strives to address problems of food insecurity, promote socialization, and promote the health and well being of older adults through nutrition and nutrition-related services.
The Nutrition Program offers three services to support older adults and people with disabilities:
Meals on Wheels/Home Delivered Meals – Individuals who receive this service are homebound and receive meals right to their door step. Depending on a client’s needs, they may receive diabetic-friendly or low sodium meals to ensure they are receiving their recommended nutrients. All meals are reviewed by a registered dietician and meet the minimum recommended dietary allowances for older adults.
Congregate Dining – Individuals who receive this service are able to safely meet at a designated location daily Monday through Friday to receive a hot lunch and enjoy socialization amongst their peers. Just like the Meals on Wheels/Home Delivered Meals clients, each person’s meals are individualized to their unique dietary requirements. Congregate Dining promotes nutrition while reducing senior isolation.
Restaurant Vouchers – Individuals who receive this service are community-dwelling and are still safely driving. These clients are provided vouchers that act as payment for a meal at one of the approved restaurants throughout our service area. At each location, there is a special menu that has been reviewed and approved by a registered dietician to ensure these seniors are receiving their recommended nutrients. Restaurant Vouchers act as nutrition and social support, but also provide these individuals with familiarization to the rest of our services should they need them in the future.
Each of these programs has its own set of eligibility requirements. If you or a loved one is struggling to eat healthy meals, or if you would like to learn more about our Nutrition Program, Just Call Us! 260-469-3036