Hunger and the Elderly

An article in this month’s State Legislatures magazine cites a study that says the number of elderly who are going hungry is rising.  Seniors with low or fixed incomes can often not afford to eat as well as they should, and those elderly who are ill or on medication often do not regain their health as quickly if they do not have a proper diet.  The high cost of medications also causes many low-income seniors to have to choose between medications and food, according to the article.

Yesterday the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) issued a press release stating that their Healthy Food Assistance for Seniors program is underutilized in Colorado.  The program “reimburses care providers for serving healthy meals and snacks based on the income of the participants’ families.”  Adult day care participants who are beneficiaries of Medicaid and/or Supplemental Social Security are eligible to receive free meals through caregivers participating in the program. 

For more information on CDPHE’s program see the Child and Adult Care Food Program Manual and Colorado Older Adult Resource: Implementation Guide for the Colorado Physical Activity and Nutrition State Plan 2010, available from our library.  Also be sure to check out Nutrition and Aging, a Colorado State University Extension fact sheet also available from our library.  More resources for and about seniors can be found by searching our web catalog or our library’s Quick Guide for Seniors and Caregivers.