Seniors tell us that dining alone is one of the key factors to eating less and feeling lonely during mealtime. Loneliness is identified as one of the most serious obstacles to good nutrition for our senior loved ones. In the United States, approximately 40 percent of the population age 75 and older lives alone. That’s about 6.7 million people, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Home Instead Senior Care® conducted an indepth study that focuses on the far-reaching impact of loneliness and key findings of the study include:
- Two of five seniors who live alone have at least four warning signs of poor nutritional health.
- One in five seniors says he or she sometimes or most of the time feels lonely when eating alone.
- Seventy-six percent of these seniors eat alone most of the time.
- The biggest mealtime challenge for older people who live alone is lack of the shared family experience, including lack of companionship.
- Mealtimes last nearly twice as long when seniors who live alone share meals with others compared with when they eat alone.
- A majority of seniors who live alone say they eat more nutritiously and the food actually tastes better when eating with others.
- More than three-fourths of seniors say they wish their families shared more meals together.
- The most common obstacle preventing seniors from sharing more meals with others is that their family and friends don’t have enough time.
As a result of the study outcomes, Home Instead Senior Care network launched “Craving Companionship”. The program is designed to encourage extended families to promote family dining with their senior loved ones. More information about “Craving Companionship” can be found by visiting www.mealsandcompanionship.com
If you have suggestions on enhancing extended family dining experiences, please share with our readers.
We hope this was helpful. If you have any questions or if you know of a senior that could benefit from our vast array of home care services in Houston, please call us at 832 379-4700 or email us. We accept most long term care insurance as payment and have a full time staff supervising more than 100 quality-trained home care personnel covering the Houston, Texas area.