Delaware County Meals On Wheels adds new ‘Therapeutic’ Meal Choices with Improved Nutrition
The Delaware County Meals On Wheels program is now offering clients special therapeutic meals with restricted carbohydrates or low sodium. Designed for individuals with special dietary needs, these meals offer food choices with lower carbohydrates or sodium while meeting all standards of the Recommended Daily Allowance of nutrients for older adults.
Managed by the Council for Older Adults, the local Meals On Wheels program is offering these options which can be used as part of a treatment of a disease or a clinical condition to eliminate, decrease or increase certain foods or nutrients in the diet. The special therapeutic meals require a signed authorization form ordered by a physician and/or healthcare professional with prescriptive authority. All meals are available in chopped or pureed forms as well.
This newest Meals On Wheels menu offering follows a client “choice” menu option, which began in August of this year. This innovative system provides clients with a menu each month containing daily alternative meal selections. When paired with nutrient analysis, older adults are able to select meals which are not only more pleasing to their individual palate, but will ensure they receive meals that are nutritionally balanced.
“Measuring 14 categories of nutrition, including fiber, protein, fat, and a number of vitamins and minerals, the new menus are prepared in our own kitchen every day using made-from-scratch cooking which allows better control of salt, fat and calories,” said Jason Krnc, Council for Older Adults Food and Beverage Services Manager. “All of our menus are approved by dieticians and meet local, state and national dietary guidelines for senior meal programs. Each meal contains no more than 700 calories, less than 25 grams of fat and at least 25 grams of protein.”
Over 270 volunteers deliver nearly 15,400 meals each month to over 835 older county residents who are unable to prepare healthy meals. Lunches are also available at four senior dining centers throughout Delaware County. This service, provided on a donation basis, is designed to help seniors remain living at home while maintaining good nutrition.
In May, the Meals On Wheels Association of America awarded Magnet Accreditation to the Council’s Meals On Wheels Program. Considered the exemplary gold standard for excellence in senior nutrition programs, the Delaware County meal program is one of only 20 nationally to have been chosen to receive this prestigious award and the first in Ohio to have received this highest recognition.
As part of the national Meals On Wheels Association of America, one of the goals of the Delaware County Meals On Wheels program is to help eliminate senior hunger in our community. According to the MidOhio Foodbank, the elderly are among the largest groups struggling with food insecurity and across the county. Research shows that more than 1 out of every 7 seniors experiences food insecurity, defined as lack of access and availability of food. For some clients, a home-delivered meal may be their only meal of the day.
For more information on receiving Delaware County Meals On Wheels, becoming a volunteer or donating to the program, visit < www.growingolder.org > or call 740–363-6677.
The Council for Older Adults is a local nonprofit organization responsible for planning, developing, coordinating and providing services for older adults and their families in Delaware County. Among the Council’s services are the county-wide Meals On Wheels program and Senior Choices, a program that provides comprehensive care management and in-home services. Services provided by the Council are made possible, in part, by funding through our local senior services levy.