4.8 million senior adults in the US face food insecurity. Is it possible your senior loved ones are included in that number without you realizing it?
How would you know? If they are, what could you do to help them?
Senior hunger is an issue of emphasis for us at Senior Care Corner® because it impacts the ability of seniors to enjoy their elder years in good health.
We’re highlighting Hunger Action Month by informing family caregivers, helping them identify and overcome food insecurity in your own senior loved ones – – or helping you prevent it from becoming an issue – – and turned to the National Council on Aging’s (NCOA) information and resources.
Senior Hunger Discussion with NCOA
The feature segment of this Senior Care Corner Show is a conversation we had with Lura Barber, who is the Senior Program Manager of Hunger Initiatives at NCOA. We found our discussion with Lura to be very informative and think you will as well.
It’s disheartening to hear that 1 in 6 seniors struggles with hunger so we were pleased to hear of the effort NCOA is making to inform seniors and caregivers about the resources available to address the problem and how easy they are making it to apply.
Lura told us NCOA is using Hunger Action Month to emphasize the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. SNAP, today’s version of what we used to know as Food Stamps, is a program to help seniors and others who can’t afford the food they need.
3 out of 5 seniors who are eligible for assistance under SNAP are not benefiting from the program for a number of reasons. As family caregivers, we can help our senior loved ones overcome whatever barriers may be keeping them from this nutritional assistance. You might find an infographic from NCOA, busting myths seniors have about SNAP, to be helpful in discussions with loved ones so we have included it at the bottom of this article.
Is Your Senior Loved One Fighting Hunger?
If your own senior loved one was part of the hunger statistics you would know, right? Or would you?
Many seniors — far too many — are struggling with decisions like “do I eat or buy the prescriptions the doctor told me I need” and may be doing so right in front of family members without anyone realizing it.
How many older adults don’t admit they need help out of a desire to be self-sufficient or because they put the needs of others before their own? Sound like anyone you know?
With so many family caregivers providing that care from a distance, an elder loved one’s food insecurity may stay under the radar, with the signs of hunger being missed.
Lura discussed with us some tips for family caregivers in identifying food insecurity in senior loved ones, since knowing there is a problem is the first step in addressing it.
News Items in This Episode
- Top Retirement Financial Concern: Healthcare Bills
- Anxiety Medications May be Tied to Alzheimer’s Risk
- Ford Car Designers Wear “Age Suits” to Design for Older Drivers
- Potassium-rich Foods Cut Stroke, Death Risks Among Older Women
Also in this episode you’ll hear Kathy’s quick tip on helping seniors with Alzheimer’s eat more, a challenge faced by many family caregivers.
Links Mentioned in this Episode
- National Council on Aging
- Information on NCOA’s SNAP enrollment initiative
- NCOA’s SNAP application website
- BenefitsCheckUp from NCOA
We hope you find this important episode of the Senior Care Corner Show to be informative and even eye-opening in helping senior loved ones live their elder years in health, safety and comfort.