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Supper Club

Where older adults meet to share easy, affordable, nutritious meals and recipes.

Photo of Isabella Leung
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Who is your idea designed for and how does it enable older adults to live their best possible life by preventing falls?

Supper Club is a welcoming, communal environment where older adults and others of different ages to gather for healthy meals and spend time with old and new friends. It is a hybrid of shared meal + potluck + cooking demo + recipe exchange. Older adults are encouraged to live their best possible life by eating nutritiously to strengthen their bodies and prevent falls, sharing their food knowledge, and spending time with others.

PROBLEM - MALNUTRITION

As we age, we lose bone mass or density. Diet and physical activity are responsible for ten to fifty percent of bone mass and structure. Older adults who have poor diets and suffer malnutrition can have increased muscle weakness and thus greater risks of falls and fractures. 

Many older adults eat alone. Those who live alone may forget to eat or eat a quick, unbalanced meal because they do not want to bother cooking for one. Those who try to eat healthy may have trouble affording or getting healthy groceries.

Currently, there are programs that offer nutritious meals to older adults such as Meals on Wheels program for homebound adults. A study on “Meals on Wheels” has shown that delivered meals may reduce the risk of falls for participants. The reasons for the potential fall risk reduction are unknown; social interaction with meal delivery staff and nutritious meals may be factors in reducing falls. Senior centers also offer low-cost, healthy meals to older adults. However, older adults who don’t qualify for these programs or frequent senior centers may not have access to easy, affordable, healthy meals.

 

SOLUTION – SUPPER CLUB

Made for older bodies, palates, and wallets.

  • Socializing – Older adults and others of different ages share healthy meals, spend time with old friends, and meet new ones.
  • Engaging Creativity – For participants who like to cook, they can volunteer to be the head chef for a meal, demonstrating one of their favorite recipes. These might be recipes they like to make for groups, but not when eating alone.
  • Eating Nutritiously – Dishes served include easy-to-make, affordable, protein and vitamin-packed recipes (e.g., three bean salad and mixed berry yogurt parfait). These recipes can be easily replicated at home.
  • Learning New Recipes – participants learn an entrée recipe from the head chef and receive printout or download recipes of all the dishes served during the meal. They can also bring dishes or recipes of their own to share.

What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

Host an intimate Supper Club with a few older adults and others of different ages in a private home or a communal space (i.e., church, community center).

How long has your idea existed?

  • 0-3 months

This idea emerged from

  • An Individual

Tell us about your work experience:

This submission was developed during the IDEO U's "From Ideas to Action." I enjoy learning to use human-centered design as a creative problem solving approach for sector-specific and cross-sectional solutions. I am currently an independent health policy consultant.

3 comments

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Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Isabella!

Thank you for getting involved. Have you thought about the different ways to reach out to older adults? I noticed you mentioned churches and community centres.

It would be interesting to get the perspective of Amy Vu as a dietitian on this post.

Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Is there any chance you could find an image to go along with your post? Images help grab attention and tell a story. You should be able to use the Edit Contribution button on the top of your post and follow the instructions to add images from there. Looking forward to seeing more of your inspiring insights on OpenIDEO.

Photo of Isabella Leung
Team

Thanks for the suggestion, Kate.