FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
AGING COMMUNITY LEADERS GATHER TO DISCUSS ISSUES AFFECTING ELDERLY:
KEEPING SENIORS HEALTHY & WELL NOURISHED CAN SAVE BILLIONS FOR TAXPAYERS
(Washington, DC – July 16, 2011) With the first of the baby boomers turning 65 this year, it’s hard to fathom the country’s lawmakers considering drastic cuts to programs helping older Americans live independently longer. But hearing lawmakers discuss cutting funds for food and medical support for over 70 million Americans this week should be cause for alarm.
National Association of Area Agencies on Aging hosts its national conference at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington July 16-20, hundreds of aging community professionals will be discussing the impact of potential federal budget cuts, including reforms to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid as well as new programs available to help seniors stay healthy and active as long as possible.
Crucial to the discussion is what can be done to keep this exploding population healthy, limiting hospital stays and costly readmissions, which can cost taxpayers up to $17 billion dollars a year, according to Dr. Stephen F. Jencks, former Medicare official who authored a study showing the costs associated each year on patients’ return visits to the hospital, many of which are readmissions that may have been prevented with better follow up care.
“Good nutrition, often taken for granted when we’re healthy and mobile, can be a major challenge for a senior living alone – healthy or not,” said Rick Anderson, President of Mom’s Meals. “If you’re just home from the hospital and still too sick to care for yourself, or if you have limited mobility from surgery or a health crisis, the role of a well-balanced diet is crucial.”
Mom’s Meals, a family-owned, USDA inspected and approved fresh food preparation and delivery service, is dedicated to providing fresh meals to customers nationwide. The company prepares, packages, and ships ready-to-heat and eat meals directly to a customer’s door, delivered by FedEx or UPS anywhere in the United States, and the meals stay fresh in a refrigerator for 14 days. Customers may choose their own meals from a rotating menu of over 70 choices.
“We continue to question why nutrition is not part of the transition from hospital into home equation,” said Dr. Sam Beattie, Director Technical and Nutritional Services, Mom’s Meals. “One day in the hospital can run anywhere from $3500 and up versus one day of Mom’s Meals which costs just $18.95. This is another example of an overwhelming problem with a very simple solution.”
Mom’s Meals allows agencies and providers to cut costs when used as a complement to an existing program by allowing their home delivered meal program to focus on densely populated areas while they offer Mom’s Meals to more rural, hard to reach areas. It also allows them to reduce waiting lists which may result from costly meal routes to remote areas, ever-present budget issues, vehicle expenses, or lack of volunteers.
According to Mike Isaacson, current director at Hawkeye Valley Area Agency on Aging in Waterloo, Iowa, “We found Mom’s Meals a great resource for areas not currently served by our area agency on aging and they allowed us to fill a gap for individuals qualifying for the waiver. We even received positive remarks from meal recipients regarding the quality and variety of the meals.”
“We strive to partner with companies who are not only experts in products, but also in services tailored to older adults and adults with disabilities,” said Karen Jackson, RD, Nutrition Contracts Manager, Area Agency on Aging 1b, Southfield, MI. “As an Area Agency on Aging, we have benefitted from Mom’s Meals’ expertise in both service and merchandising and we were pleased to learn how much our participants value the meals they receive.”
Deborah L. Albert