Examples of Programs to Help Prevent Malnutrition in the Elderly

Very Old Man

Malnutrition is such a serious issue in the elderly population that many localities and even some countries have taken the initiative to establish meal programs designed to fight malnutrition in the elderly population.

Chicago’s Meals On Wheels Program

Chicago has a private fund-raising organization called Meals on Wheels, which works in a partnership with the City of Chicago’s Department of Family Support Services-Senior Services Area Agency on Aging and the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, to provide funds to programs that support getting food to home-bound senior citizens within Chicago. Meals are delivered to the homes of those elderly individuals who are homebound.

Additionally, Chicago’s Meals on Wheels also fundraises to provide seniors with other services, such as house cleaning and chore performing services, elder care programs, and respite care. The group also supports home modification projects. Home modification projects provide a maximum of $10,000 in funds to remodel parts of an elderly person’s home with structural alterations designed to make living easier for disabled and limited mobility individuals.

New York City’s Citymeals-on-Wheels Program

New York City has a program called Citymeals-On-Wheels, which is designed to provide more than 1.3 million senior citizens with at least one meal a day. The program focuses on providing meals to the poorest and oldest residents of New York’s five boroughs. These individuals often live alone, hardly ever leave their homes and have little interaction with other people. The city’s elderly often exhibit limited mobility and thus they have trouble getting out to buy their own food or are unable to go out and get a meal on their own. In fact, more than 90% of New York’s Citymeals-On-Wheels participants regularly use some sort of walking assistive devices, such as a cane, walker, or wheelchair. The program helps to combat malnutrition in New York’s elderly population, aged 60 years and over.

Malnutrition Prevention Project in the United Kingdom

The UK government has recently backed a project to combat malnutrition and dehydration in its elderly population as well. Citing the evidence that nearly one million of England’s older individuals seemed to slip through the cracks when it comes to diagnosis and treatment of dehydration and malnutrition, the English government initiated the Malnutrition Prevention Project and established special task forces to inform the public about this specific problem. The main goals of the project are to raise awareness of these issues in the general population and encourage younger people to keep an eye on the elderly people in their communities and to take action if they notice the signs and symptoms of dehydration or malnutrition in the elderly.

Contacting a Malnutrition Attorney

If you or a loved one has suffered from malnutrition or dehydration at the hands of caregivers in the nursing home, you should contact a nursing home abuse and neglect attorney as soon as possible to voice your concerns. Please feel free to contact the experienced attorneys at Rooth Law Firm either online or by telephone today by calling 877-356-3007.

Photo Credit: chefranden via Compfight cc

Sources:

Citymeals-On-Wheels, The Elderly and Malnutrition

Meals on Wheels

Jonathan Symcox, New Project Seeks to Combat Malnourishment Amongst Elderly in the UK, Mirror, December 22, 2013

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