Format

Send to

Choose Destination
J Am Geriatr Soc. 2019 Jun 12. doi: 10.1111/jgs.16013. [Epub ahead of print]

Leveraging Home-Delivered Meal Programs to Address Unmet Needs for At-Risk Older Adults: Preliminary Data.

Author information

1
West Health Institute, La Jolla, California.
2
Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Providence, Rhode Island.
3
Center for Gerontology and Healthcare Research, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island.
4
Meals on Wheels America, Arlington, Virginia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Home-delivered meal programs serve a predominantly homebound older adult population, characterized by multiple chronic conditions, functional limitations, and a variety of complex care needs, both medical and social.

DESIGN:

A pilot study was designed to test the feasibility of leveraging routine meal-delivery service in two home-delivered meal programs to proactively identify changes in older adult meal recipients' (clients') health, safety, and well-being and address unmet needs.

INTERVENTION:

Meal delivery personnel (drivers) were trained to use a mobile application to submit electronic alerts when they had a concern or observed a change in a client's condition. Alerts were received by care coordinators, who followed up with clients to offer support and help connect them to health and community services.

RESULTS:

Over a 12-month period, drivers submitted a total of 429 alerts for 189 clients across two pilot sites. The most frequent alerts were submitted for changes in health (56%), followed by self-care or personal safety (12%) and mobility (11%). On follow-up, a total of 132 referrals were issued, with most referrals for self-care (33%), health (17%), and care management services (17%). Focus groups conducted with drivers indicated that most found the mobile application easy to use and valued change of condition monitoring as an important contribution.

CONCLUSION:

Findings suggest that this is a feasible approach to address unmet needs for vulnerable older adults and may serve as an early-warning system to prevent further decline and improve quality of life. Efforts are underway to test the protocol across additional home-delivered meal programs.

KEYWORDS:

care navigation; home-delivered meal programs; social needs; vulnerable older adults

PMID:
31188480
DOI:
10.1111/jgs.16013

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center