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Celebrating 40 Years Of Senior Nutrition Programs

April 16, 2012
By Becky Blum, RN - Senior Nutrition Program director , Office for the Aging

In March, we celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Older Americans Act Nutrition Programs. In 1972, Congress added the Nutrition Program to the Older Americans Act (OAA). Since this time, it has been implemented throughout the United States, with more than 8 billion nutritious meals served to older adults at congregate sites or as home-delivered meals. Chautauqua County Office for the Aging receives funding from the Older Americans Act along with state and county funding to administer the Senior Nutrition Programs for Chautauqua County. This valuable program was designed to help reduce hunger and malnutrition which lead to poor health and decreased ability to function in the community. Adequate quality nutrition is essential for health and the meals provided in this program meet evidence-based nutrition standards. This program was also designed to increase activity and socialization. A social interconnectedness and active social engagement helps to improve health outcomes and quality of life. For the home bound meal recipient they receive a daily contact with someone. Often a strong relationship develops between the recipient and the person who delivers the meals; this may be the only human contact they receive throughout their day. Along with food and social contacts, this program provides the opportunity for nutritional education and counseling to help older adults and their caregivers make more informed choices to prevent, manage and control health issues.



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