Meals services boost physical and mental health

Updated May 24 2018 - 9:08pm, first published September 29 2015 - 12:00am
Meals on Wheels SA chief executive Sharyn Broer and researcher Dr Kali Thomas before the Meals on Wheels national conference. Photo: Facebook
Meals on Wheels SA chief executive Sharyn Broer and researcher Dr Kali Thomas before the Meals on Wheels national conference. Photo: Facebook

SENIORS who have face-to-face contact with people delivering their daily meals feel less lonely and safer and are less likely to experience falls or hospitalisation, a United States researcher told the Australian Meals on Wheels Association conference in South Australia last week.
Dr Kali Thomas' research for Brown University looked at the effect of home meal delivery on quality of life for older people, beyond providing essential nutrition.
A randomised trial of three groups at eight locations across America compared the experiences of people who had fresh meals personally delivered daily with those who received frozen bulk drops or remained on the waiting list.
Seniors living alone who received daily home deliveries experienced significant benefits over a 15-week period.
Thomas said she conducted the research to test observations made while she volunteered as a meals on wheels driver.
"My granny, who lived to be 98 years old while still independent in her home, was grateful for the meals and enjoyed the visits with her meals delivery person," she said.

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