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Australian Meals on Wheels Day highlights the prevalence of elderly malnutrition

Today is Australian Meals on Wheels Day, a campaign that is raising awareness about the challenges of malnutrition among the elderly and calling on the Government to invest more in malnutrition prevention.

Currently, 40 percent of older Australians are malnourished and people are unaware of the silent health issue. [Source: Shutterstock]
Currently, 40 percent of older Australians are malnourished and people are unaware of the silent health issue. [Source: Shutterstock]

Through Meals on Wheels, a nationwide meal delivery service for seniors, more than 100,000 older Australians are delivered delicious, healthy food straight to their door.

Meals on Wheels launched a new Recipe Resource eBook today, to provide recipes that have been created specifically to provide extra nutritional benefits to Australian seniors.

Currently, 40 percent of older Australians are malnourished and people are unaware of the silent health issue.

This is why Meals on Wheels is appealing to the Federal Government to fund more preventatives for malnutrition among seniors.

Meals on Wheels Australia President, Sharyn Broer says, “Delivery of nutritious meals, social interaction and a friendly check of a client’s wellbeing by Meals on Wheels volunteers can help people live the lives they choose in the comfort of their own homes, where they are often happiest.

“Meals on Wheels Australia is calling on the Australian Government to double its investment in meal support through the Commonwealth Home Support Program (CHSP)  to make it simpler, fairer and more affordable for older Australians to receive meal services.

“This $80 million additional investment means older Australians would pay only for the cost of the ingredients used in their meals, making payments fair and affordable, regardless of which Government funding program they are eligible to access or where they live.”

The organisation believes the Australian Government’s investment in meal services, accounting for 3.6 percent of the $2.4 billion Commonwealth Home Support Program budget, is grossly unfair considering consumers pay one to two times as much as the funding.

Meals on Wheels says that the increased investment in meal support services would reduce the demand for expensive aged care services and take pressure off of the public hospital systems.

Additionally, a nutritious and tasty meal improves the quality of life of older people and encourages them to live independently for longer.

The eBook resource released today on Meals on Wheels day is to help provide better options to older people in their nutritional intake.

Ms Broer says, “Each recipe is tailored to the nutritional needs of older Australians and will be a valuable reference for meal services around the country. 

“Across Australia, thousands of Meals on Wheels volunteers will deliver contemporary food choices that are nutritionally balanced and great tasting, using recipes in the Recipe Resource.”

To find out more about Australian Meals on Wheels, head to their website here. https://mealsonwheels.org.au/

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