Mary Alexander: Hi! I am Mary Alexander from Home Instead Senior Care. Today I'm here in the Betty Crocker Kitchens talking about how our senior loved ones feel when it comes to meal time and eating.
For most of us eating isn't just a matter of getting the nutrition we need to stay healthy, it is a social gathering where we share with others. Think about leisurely brunches, elaborate dinner parties or big holiday gatherings where extended families come together to celebrate.
And on a more day-to-day basis, many families work hard to juggle busy schedules in order to create meal-time where everyone can be together. Meal time is a social event for many. There are others however who have a different less joyful experience when it comes to their daily meals and this can include our senior loved ones.
In the United States approximately 40% of the population aged 75 and older, about some 6.
6 million people live alone. These seniors face significant socialization challenges particularly related to the lack of shared meal-time experiences.
Home Instead Senior Care conducted a first of its kind study to measure meal-time routines, challenges and preferences of seniors aged 75-plus who live by themselves in their own home or apartments.
The result of this study shows that one in five seniors say he or she sometimes or most of the time, feels lonely with eating alone. In fact, they say their biggest meal time challenge is the lack of shared family experience.
This lack of companionship is resulting in some 44% of seniors who live alone showing at least four warning signs of poor nutritional health. The survey also shows there are several other factors that are contributing to their lack of proper eating and good nutrition.
Some seniors, approximately 23% have insufficient funds to buy the food they need. Others don't have access to transportation to get themselves to the grocery store on a regular basis. And for those who do shop, it's often easier for them to purchase foods that lack in good nutritional value.
As you can see, there are a lot of seniors suffering from poor nutrition and struggling with meals.