DARKE COUNTY — Lori Reeves from northwest Ohio is on a mission to see more families share sit-down Sunday dinners with their senior loved ones. The reason? New research shows that 50 percent of surveyed families living near senior relatives feel they do not share enough meals with older loved ones, losing an important family connection.*
“For seniors, it’s not what’s on their plate that matters most at mealtime – it’s who is at the table with them,” said Reeves, owner of the local Home Instead Senior Care® office serving Montgomery, Miami, Clark and Darke counties. “When seniors share meals with a companion, they have a better mealtime experience – both nutritionally and emotionally.”
Almost 75 percent of the people surveyed said they only sit down for a family meal with senior loved ones for special occasions, events or holidays. They say a big part of the problem is time – both not having enough of it and conflicting schedules.
To encourage families to make time for these meals, the Home Instead Senior Care Foundation® will donate $1 to Meals on Wheels America (up to $20,000 total through July 31, 2015) for each person that commits to regularly scheduling family dinners at SundayDinnerPledge.com. Pledging to have a sit-down dinner with loved ones will help to ensure other seniors will have a quality meal, friendly visit and safety check through Meals on Wheels programs across the country.
“We hope families will make the pledge to either revive or begin new mealtime traditions with their senior loved ones,” Reeves said. “This small commitment can have a big impact on a senior’s well-being.”
To help families across the country host their own Sunday dinner, Home Instead Senior Care has partnered with celebrity chef and mother of four Melissa d’Arabian to develop easy, nutritious recipes. Additional resources include tips for how to involve seniors in meal planning and preparation, pre- and post-dinner activities and meal plans for healthy, inexpensive meals that all generations can enjoy.
“For these free resources and more information on how you can bring back the Sunday dinner and reconnect with your senior loved ones, visit www.SundayDinnerPledge.com or call Home Instead Senior Care at 937-410-0710,” Reeves said.
* Home Instead, Inc. completed surveys with a random sample of 1,000 households in U.S. and Canada between Feb. 10 and 15. Participants were 50 percent male and 50 percent female, with 900 households in U.S. and 100 in Canada.
Founded in 1994 in Omaha, Nebraska, by Lori and Paul Hogan, the Home Instead Senior Care® network provides personalized care, support and education to help enhance the lives of aging adults and their families. Today, this network is the world’s leading provider of in-home care services for seniors, with more than 1,000 independently owned and operated franchises that are estimated to annually provide more than 50 million hours of care throughout the United States and 15 other countries. Local Home Instead Senior Care offices employ approximately 65,000 CAREGivers℠ worldwide who provide basic support services that enable seniors to live safely and comfortably in their own homes for as long as possible. The Home Instead Senior Care network strives to partner with each client and his or her family members to help meet that individual’s needs. Services span the care continuum – from providing companionship and personal care to specialized Alzheimer’s care and hospice support. Also available are family caregiver education and support resources. At Home Instead Senior Care, it’s relationship before task, while striving to provide superior quality service.
Meals on Wheels America is the oldest and largest national organization supporting the more than 5,000 community-based senior nutrition programs across the country that are dedicated to addressing senior hunger and isolation. This network exists in virtually every community in America and, along with more than two million volunteers, delivers the nutritious meals, friendly visits and safety checks that enable America’s seniors to live nourished lives with independence and dignity. By providing funding, leadership, education and advocacy support, Meals on Wheels America empowers its local member programs to strengthen their communities, one senior at a time.