Nutrition for Older Adults

March 13th, 2023 | Kelsie Owen

Food insecurity is a complex problem affecting millions of Americans. Older adults are especially susceptible to food insecurity due to fixed income and lack of access to healthy foods. We know that proper nutrition in older adults is vital to decrease the risk of malnutrition, manage overall health and reduce hospital stays. Making healthy foods more affordable and accessible is key to older adults’ ability to remain safe, independent and in their own homes. Did you know that according to the Administration for Community Living, almost 50 percent of older American are malnourished. Keep reading for tips to stay properly nourished as you age in place.

Here is a list of tips to promote healthy eating:

Healthy eating is more than just choosing nutritious foods and dieting.  Below are some other things to consider when managing your nutritional health.

Accessing nutritious, healthy and affordable foods may seem like an impossible endeavor for older adults who have limited income or transportation options to access the grocery store.  Often there are resources throughout your community to assist with these challenges.  The Nutrition Program through Aging & In-Home Services strives to address problems of food insecurity, promote socialization, and promote the health and well being of older adults through nutrition and nutrition-related services.

The Nutrition Program offers three services to support older adults and people with disabilities:

  • Meals on Wheels/Home Delivered Meals – Individuals who receive this service are homebound and receive meals right to their door step. Depending on a client’s needs, they may receive diabetic-friendly or low sodium meals to ensure they are receiving their recommended nutrients. All meals are reviewed by a registered dietician and meet the minimum recommended dietary allowances for older adults.
  • Congregate Dining – Individuals who receive this service are able to safely meet at a designated location daily Monday through Friday to receive a hot lunch and enjoy socialization amongst their peers. Just like the Meals on Wheels/Home Delivered Meals clients, each person’s meals are individualized to their unique dietary requirements. Congregate Dining promotes nutrition while reducing senior isolation.
  • Restaurant Vouchers – Individuals who receive this service are community-dwelling and are still safely driving. These clients are provided vouchers that act as payment for a meal at one of the approved restaurants throughout our service area. At each location, there is a special menu that has been reviewed and approved by a registered dietician to ensure these seniors are receiving their recommended nutrients. Restaurant Vouchers act as nutrition and social support, but also provide these individuals with familiarization to the rest of our services should they need them in the future.

Each of these programs has its own set of eligibility requirements. If you or a loved one is struggling to eat healthy meals, or if you would like to learn more about our Nutrition Program, Just Call Us! 260-469-3036

Kelsie Owen

AVP, Nutrition & Wellness

Helping an Older Adult Age Independently

February 28th, 2023 | Anna Hinen

For many of us staying in our own homes as we age is what we prefer. People report the desire to remain independent and others say the reason they want to stay at home is due to their level of comfort. Whatever the driving factor, according to a survey conducted by AARP 77% of adults over the age of 50 want to remain in their own homes for the long term.

Despite this desire, the reality of aging brings along challenges we haven’t had to face before. Chores like cleaning, cooking and laundry are threatened due to decreased mobility as our bodies age. And, more personal aspects of daily living like bathing and dressing may get more difficult depending on the layout and accessibility of certain areas of our homes. Fortunately, there are many ways to support an older loved one who wishes to age in place.

Here are some ideas for helping an older adult age independently:

By offering your support to an aging loved one who wishes to remain in their own home, you can have a positive impact on their mental health and overall well-being. Remember that despite your efforts, it is crucial to your loved one’s safety that you recognize when it is no longer safe for them to continue aging in place.

Signs it may be time for assistance:

    • They have a significant decline in their mental or physical health.
    • They are not able to take their medications as directed.
    • They are confused or extremely forgetful.
    • They cannot get around the house safely or get help in an emergency.

If you notice your loved one showing any of these signs, it may be time to have a conversation about types of assisted living. Read our “Signs Your Loved One Needs Help” post for tips on how to start this conversation.

With appropriate planning and monitoring, you can easily support your aging loved one so they can remain safe and independent in the community for as long as possible. If you are struggling and need help with information and resources, Just Call Us at Aging & In-Home Services! As the premier resource for older adults, people with disabilities and family caregivers in northeast Indiana, we are your community connection to referrals throughout the community. 260-745-1200

Anna Hinen

ADRC Supervisor

Signs Your Loved One Needs Help

February 14th, 2023 | Kate Wiggins

Noticing changes in your aging loved one is common but addressing those changes may cause stress for both you and them. Discussing changes in an individual’s behavior, appearance, health, etc. can be embarrassing for both parties. And, some may even be reluctant to listen to begin with as they fear losing their independence. Ironically, acknowledging these changes is a crucial first step in preserving the independence of an older adult.

Here are a few signs your loved one may need help:

If you notice a loved one showing one or more of these signs, don’t panic! It is time to discuss these changes with your loved one. Include others in the conversation who may assist with the care of your loved one. We know – this may sound difficult, but it doesn’t have to be.

Here are some suggestions for getting the conversation started:

If your loved one is resistant to the idea of getting help, don’t give up! The safety and well-being of your loved one needs to be at the forefront of any conversation. Remember, it is normal for individuals to be defensive if they feel challenged in any way. If there is not an immediate sign of danger to cause harm to themself or anyone else, try again. Sometimes a person will refuse care at first but over time they may accept help.

Here are a few tips to respond to a loved one's refusal to accept help:

If your loved one continues to resist care, it may be time to seek help for yourself. Ask their doctor, clergy or other trusted outside person to step in and assist you. Sometimes a person from outside the family will have more influence.

Remember, your concerns may help address issues that interfere with your loved ones independence before a catastrophic event takes place. If you need assistance getting these conversations started, Just Call Us! Aging & In-Home Services is the premier resource for older adults, people with disabilities and family caregivers. Our Aging & Disability Resource Center provides streamlined access to information, care options, short-term case management, and benefits enrollment across a spectrum of long-term care services and supports.

Kate Wiggins

VP, Community Resources & Services

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Request for Proposals - Legal Notice

Request for Proposals – Legal Notice

Aging & In‐Home Services of Northeast Indiana, Inc. (AIHS) expects to receive federal, Older Hoosier and
state grants through the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA). AIHS invites Requests
for Proposals (RFP) for Nutrition Program partner agencies in the delivery of services funded through
these programs to eligible elderly and disabled persons in northeast Indiana. The anticipated funding
period is October 1, 2022 to September 30, 2024.

Funding is anticipated in an estimated amount of $817,000 each year for Nutrition Program services.
RFP applications will be available beginning July 18, 2022. The deadline for completed RFP applications
is August 17, 2022, by 4:00p.m. EST, with no exceptions.

RFP applications can be obtained from:
Aging & In‐Home Services of Northeast Indiana, Inc.
8101 W. Jefferson Blvd.
Fort Wayne, IN 46804

Any additional questions regarding the RFP can be directed to Beth Krudop, Vice President of
Administration, as indicated above.

The AIHS Board of Directors reserves the right to accept or refuse any and/or all proposals.

All services provided are without regard to race, age, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation,
disability, national origin or ancestry.

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