Flexible Food is about supporting socially isolated over 65's, with a meal component. Lack of socialisation is the root cause of many ongoing issues with older people. It can cause:
Lack of appetite
Poor nutrition leading to malnutrition
Falls due to malnutrition
60% of hospitalisations of over 65's can be directly related to malnutrition and its ongoing affects on a person's health.
During our Meal Program Assessments, we identify those at risk of social isolation and encourage them to join our small group outings. Trained staff and volunteers work with these clients individually and as a group to ensure they feel valued and supported. Clients are encouraged to take ownership of the outings, helping devise the monthly calendar. Some attend Cooking for One or Two classes, to encourage them to enjoy producing meals again, and our Lunch with a Sailor initiative is very popular, particularly with our veterans.
However, most just enjoy a visit to their local club to have a beer (or a glass of wine) and a meal with good company, something they are unable to do with out our support.
Our program has had some 'awesome' results:
-clients have developed a social network, something many of us take for granted - who wants to eat a meal on their own all the time?
-appetites have improved as clients are enjoying eating again
-health has improved as better meal choices are encouraged
-reduction in depressive episodes and use of medication
-light exercise, such as seniors ten pin bowling, is improving mobility, considerably reducing risk of falls
-most importantly, our clients have learned to laugh and enjoy life again!
As an added bonus, our volunteers who support this group are giving back to their community and are generating their own self worth and esteem.
This grant will help us to help more over 65's!!
Funded by Newcastle (March 2017)