To address the problem of malnutrition among the elderly in the downtown core area of Portland, Meals on Wheels People Elm Court Center serves and delivers more than 100,000 hot, nutritious meals every year. These older adults served represent our most vulnerable and food insecure clients. Many live in studio apartments or hotel rooms, subsist on low incomes and frequently have no facilities available to them to prepare meals.
Recent studies have shown that one out of four older Americans suffers from poor nutrition. The progressive effects of malnutrition in elderly people include: loss of muscle mass, weakness and fatigue, impaired immune response, infection, and without nutritional intervention, death. Our participant surveys indicate that many of the seniors we serve are eating only one meal a day - the meal we provide for them at Elm Court. This is especially problematic for those suffering from diabetes.
This program will provide basic nutrition and assistance to nutritionally at-risk seniors in downtown Portland as well as increase socialization and connections for isolated seniors. Ultimately, the program will alleviate hunger and loneliness among nutritionally at-risk elderly adults.
Improved physical and mental health, increased understanding of malnutrition and maintained independence are some of the benefits of the Elm Court Center Meal Program. Helping seniors to maintain optimum health, live independently, and enjoy companionship of daily contact with volunteers all contribute to health and longevity. It is also an economic solution. The cost of providing meals for a year is about $2,500 while the cost of institutional care is $60,000 annually.
This project has provided additional documentation in a Microsoft Word file (projdoc.doc).
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