The Food Research & Action Center and AARP Foundation released a free, online course, “Screen & Intervene: Addressing Food Insecurity Among Older Adults,” to educate health care and community-based providers around the country about the extent of senior hunger and the solutions that exist to solve it.
The course provides training on how to screen patients 50 and older for food insecurity, and information on how to connect food-insecure patients to key nutrition resources, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) — the first line of defense against hunger for millions of Americans. Nationally, 2.8 million households with at least one adult age 65 or older struggled against hunger in 2016 — the last year for which the U.S. Department of Agriculture has published data. Seniors in these households and others living on the margins of food insecurity are at greater risk of poor health and in greater need of costly health care services.
“Nearly 10 million people age 50 and older are threatened by hunger every day,” said Emily Allen, senior vice president of programs, AARP Foundation. “Health care and other community providers are on the front lines in ensuring their older patients get the support they need for their overall well-being. We collaborated with the Food Research & Action Center to design this course to be a resource in identifying and treating food insecurity to help improve the health of millions of older adults.”
Upon completion of the online course, learners — physicians, nurses, physician assistants, and other health care workers and community-based providers serving seniors — will be able to:
- define food insecurity;
- identify the risk factors for food insecurity among older adults;
- identify the negative health outcomes that food-insecure patients may face;
- use the Hunger Vital Sign™ food insecurity screening tool; and
- connect individuals to SNAP, other food assistance programs, and community partners.
“Food-insecure adults — especially older adults — who struggle to afford enough nutritious food often face impossible trade-offs between food and medicine, food and housing, or food and heating,” said Jim Weill, president, Food Research & Action Center. “Our goal in creating this course is to give medical staff, area agencies on aging, and other providers the tools they need to ensure their patients and clients no longer have to make these trade-offs.”
This one hour course is approved for 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ (for MDs and DOs). In addition, all learners can download a certificate of participation upon completion of the course. Register here for the course.