Across the nation, the senior population is growing exponentially, outpacing the resources available to serve vulnerable older adults and putting their health and well-being in jeopardy. Despite the ubiquity of senior nutrition programs, unmet needs abound. Access to nutritious food is a particular challenge for older adults. There is growing recognition of the impact that social determinants of health – such as limited access to nutritious foods – have on chronic disease self-management, healthcare cost and quality of life. The provision of medically tailored meals has emerged as a solution to address both the medical and nutrition needs of older adults coping with chronic illnesses.
Senior nutrition programs are a proven public-private partnership able to leverage this new approach to service delivery to effectively support the health and wellness needs of at-risk seniors. The National Resource Center on Nutrition and Aging will host a day-long online and in-person convening focused on helping the network of community-based senior nutrition programs understand best practices, current challenges and emerging opportunities in the provision of medically tailored meals targeted at older adults.
• To review the available state of research-informed evidence regarding the impact of medically tailored meals on the health, wellbeing and independence of older adults.
• To discuss the scope of practice related to the production and provision of medically tailored meal services at senior nutrition programs.
• Identify current and future practice, research, and training opportunities that support the provision of medically tailored meals for older adults by community-based senior nutrition programs.