Even the most independent among us, if fortunate to live long enough, may experience a decline in mobility or health that can strip away our independence and diminish the quality of our lives. Great advances in medicine have extended our average life expectancy to a record high of 78.7 years. Living longer means more years spent in the struggles that accompany old age. Add to that the increase in geographic mobility of our families and the result is millions of seniors left behind, hungry, and alone.
Too many seniors in Massachusetts are left behind, alone, and hungry, struggling to stay independent and healthy.
The rate of hunger among seniors aged 60 and older has increased by 45% since 2001, a lingering effect of the 2008-2009 recession. At the current rate, the number of food-insecure seniors may grow to more than 8 million by 2050. Hunger pains can be increasingly painful as we age:
While we all celebrate the increase in lifespan, maintaining health while aging comes with a price. Without support from programs like Meals on Wheels, millions of seniors are forced to prematurely trade their homes for nursing facilities.
Meals on Wheels saves us all billions of dollars in unnecessary Medicaid and Medicare expenses every year – tax dollars that can be spent in much better ways.
Meals on Wheels in Boston delivers the support that keeps seniors in their own homes, where they want to be.
For millions of Americans, Meals on Wheels and Congregate Meal programs are literally the difference between remaining in their own homes and needing to relocate to a nursing facility. The nutritious meal, friendly visit and safety check help them cope with three of the biggest threats of aging: hunger, isolation, and loss of independence. Research proves that when seniors have the right support, they gain greater quality of life, need fewer hospital stays, and live longer.