PSA 10: Due to the rising cost of food, gasoline, etc, additional money is needed in order for us to continue providing home delivered meals to our current clients as well as those in unserved/underserved areas.
One provider is going to do extensive outreach in the communities by sending a newsletter to the seniors in those communities. They will also try and contact the individuals by telephone with a short survey asking them if they were aware of services.
PSA 11: Utilize the CCP homemaker program. The CCUs are ordering home delivered meals when there are home care aides already in the home that can prepare a hot meal. Additional funding is needed in order to continue providing home delivered meals to current clients as well as those in areas not served.
PSA 12: The Chicago Department of Family and Support Services, Senior Services Area Agency on Aging currently provides two meals a day to each client in the program and weekend meals where appropriate. Additionally, all of the clients receive the Healthy Lifestyle Diet which is consistent with the nutritional guidelines set forth. In order to be able to serve special populations, additional funding would be needed.
PSA 13: Nutrition providers increasingly identify the need for home delivered meals targeted to ethnic clients and clients requiring special diets. These clients will not or cannot eat the typical standard meal currently available to them. An additional challenge is in the location of affordable food preparation and ingredients to provide ethnic meals, special diets as well as two meals a day and weekend meals.
Clients who truly need therapeutic or special diets determined by a physician are not adequately served by the Aging Network. These clients must obtain meals directly from a hospital or a private pay company. Private pay meals are often too expensive for low-income older persons. Due to the fact that older adults with complex medical and nutrition needs are choosing to remain at home rather than go into a skilled nursing facility, the Area Agency anticipates that there will be a further increase in special diet requests that they will not be able to meet.
One provider reports there is a need for ethnic meals for East Asian and Korean populations.
The cost of providing 2 meals, weekend meals, special diet and ethnic meals will cost approximately $30,000 more per year.
One provider feels that Special Diets will be an increasing issue due to rising food allergies and complex medical needs. We have been working with the AAA to provide special diets especially during transitions home from the hospital. The AAA has allowed this project to continue despite the high unit rate. If more providers offered special diets, the unit rates may decrease, due to higher volume.
There is a need for ethnic meals and vegetarian options. Frozen weekend meals may be a viable option for some clients.
Through the Meals on Wheels Foundation of Northern Illinois, the nutrition provider is now able to examine data being gathered on the underserved areas of weekend meals and second weekday meals. That information may be available by the third quarter of 2012.
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