Meals on Wheels America is expanding a research program showing how Meals on Wheels drivers can use a mobile app to alert care coordinators about observed changes in homebound meal clients' physical or mental health, social needs or home environment.
The program – developed with the West Health Institute and the Brown University Center for Gerontology and Healthcare Research – will grow to include up to 30 Meals on Wheels sites across the country, helping ensure the wellness of an estimated 40,000 seniors.
As part of Meals on Wheels' "more than just a meal" service model, staff and volunteer drivers deliver meals and visit clients in their homes regularly. They not only get to know their clients well through these visits, they may also be the only person some clients see in a given day.
Collectively, this nutritious meal, friendly visit and routine check-in help address three of the biggest threats to successful aging: hunger, isolation and loss of independence.
By setting up drivers who know their clients with this app-based monitoring program, they are able to quickly and proactively notify Meals on Wheels care coordinators about any health or safety issues among their clients, facilitating connections with additional services and supports.
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