With nearly 1 in 6 seniors facing the threat of hunger and malnourishment, food insecurity is now a nationwide epidemic that is getting more expansive by the day. And with a yearly healthcare bill of $130 billion due to medical issues stemming from senior hunger, it’s also getting more expensive.
While your patients are in your care, you provide them with quality nutrition care. But, what happens when they go home?
Many transitional care plans may be missing an important piece – nutrition care. Providing access to food allows the frail and elderly to regain their strength and energy faster. Proper nutrition for those at risk improves patient outcomes following surgery or hospitalization.
Hospitals face many challenges when patients are discharged. Some concerns include if patients understand their care plan and need for follow up appointments. Will your patients have access to healthy meals when they return home? What if they are unable to shop or prepare meals for themselves?
When patients go into the hospital, one thing they may not expect is to leave malnourished. But, that is what occurs to one-third of patients admitted to hospitals. Malnutrition is not always recognized and often goes untreated during hospitalization. Weight loss and inadequate nutritional intake can delay the healing and recovery process. This may lead to more challenging recoveries, and in many cases, relapse and readmission.
Nutrition Care Can Reduce Hospital Admissions
Health care professionals are always looking for better ways to keep members out of the hospital and to reduce their length of stay. Yet, the role of nutrition remains poorly understood by providers, administrators, and payers. One of the leading causes for readmission to the hospital is malnutrition.
Adopting a positive attitude can go far in dealing with the changes associated with aging. In fact, according to Kaiser Health News, those who have a positive outlook on aging live 7.5 years longer. Studies show that older adults who hold negative stereotypes about aging tend to walk more slowly, experience memory problems, and recover less fully from a fall or fracture.
February is American Heart Month! It is an excellent time to take charge of your health. Regular visits to your doctor to check your blood pressure and cholesterol are simple ways to know your risk factors for heart disease. In fact, 80 percent of cardiovascular diseases may be preventable through education and action.
GA Foods is proud of our Executive Chef, Mike Thrash. Chef Mike is a graduate of Johnson and Wales University and joined GA Foods in 2014. An award-winning chef, he enjoys creating new ways to reformulate recipes and enhance flavors, making him our secret ingredient for healthy meals senior adults love!!!
As a caregiver, you have many things to worry about. Food safety shouldn’t be one of them. When choosing a home-delivered meal provider, food safety and quality should be top priorities. Selecting a provider that uses extensive food preparation safety procedures with a safe delivery model will provide peace of mind.
The “cold chain” process is one of the most effective and reliable methods of assuring food safety. This process ensures that food is maintained at temperatures that prevent the growth of harmful bacteria that can make you sick.
The cold chain process transports perishable foods without using harmful preservatives and additives. This continuous cold chain ensures seniors will receive safe and healthy meals.
Here are some questions to ask when comparing home-delivered meal providers:
- Is the food prepared fresh in an USDA-inspected facility?
- Are the meals flash frozen to -19° F?
- Is the food maintained in a cold storage at -10° F until delivery?
- Is the food delivered to homes in specially-designed freezer trucks?
- Do they have specially-trained drivers unpack meals and store them in freezer until ready to eat?