By Erin Kee
Proper nutrition is essential for older adults to age well. Yet 2.8 million households with an older adult experience food insecurity, lacking consistent access to nutritious food for an active, healthy life.
Food insecure seniors face a wide array of negative health outcomes:
- More chronic conditions: Food insecure seniors have lower nutrient intake and are more likely to suffer from chronic conditions. At the same time, financial stress and inadequate nutrition make those conditions more challenging to manage, and often seniors make trade-offs (such as choosing between food or medicine) that exacerbates their disease.
- Longer recovery time: Having access to enough food for a balanced diet makes it easier to recover from surgery and for wounds to heal.
- Greater risk of falls: Food insecurity can also affect muscle mass, bone density, and balance, and increases risk of falls and poses a significant risk to a senior’s health and independence.
An adequate diet means that seniors can maintain the strength needed to take care of themselves, stay in their homes, and maintain their normal activities of daily living.