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.