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Elderly and Food Security PDF

Added on - 25 Jan 2022

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Elderly and Food Security
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Elderly and Food Security
Food insecurity is increasingly becoming a major concern among the elderly population
in the United States and other parts of the world. Existing literature has demonstrated that food
insecurity can have a harmful impact on the well-being and health of older adults in the US,
limiting their ability to live independently, carry on their daily activities, and work (Coleman et
al., 2021). Older adults struggle with food insecurity for many reasons, including stress,
functional limitations, competing priorities, the increasing cost of healthy foods, and limited
resources and finances. Food insecurity is a social problem from both subjective and objective
perspectives.
Food insecurity is a social problem from the objective perspective because it has adverse
outcomes for many older adults in the US. According to a report published by the US
Department of Agriculture in 2018, at least 1.3 million older adults were food insecure (Cowan
et al., 2018). The findings of the report further indicate that more than 500,000 were struggling
with very low food security. From the subjective viewpoint, food insecurity is a social problem
because there is a consensus among policymakers, government agencies, not-for-profit
organizations, including other interested stakeholders that the problem needs to be addressed.
Not-for-profit organizations in the US have adopted a broad range of programs designed to assist
older adults in accessing healthy foods, including ensuring that they can perform their daily
activities with little problem. The federal and state governments are also actively involved in
ensuring that older adults in the US are increasingly provided with adequate food.
Social Policy
Social policy is a matter of life and death for older adults for a broad range of reasons.
Firstly, this population is at risk of dying or sufferings from numerous illnesses if their increasing
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needs are not addressed. Secondly, most older adults are unemployed. Therefore, they cannot
access quality and healthy foods that will enhance their health outcomes, enabling them to live a
longer life (Coleman et al., 2021). Thirdly, older adults suffer from a broad range of diseases that
increasingly prevent them from performing their daily activities. Therefore, there is a need to
develop a social policy that will play an essential role in addressing the dietary needs of older
adults in the US. In particular, a social policy that involves social workers should be formulated
and implemented to assist the elderly policy in accessing healthy foods.
Social workers can play an essential role in educating older adults regarding the types of
food they should consume, including empowering them to protect their rights to food. A
charitable feeding system is one of the strategies employed to provide free food to older adults in
the US. Food banks across the US source low-cost and freed foods in enormous quantities from
warehouses, retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers, including food growers and distribute it to
food pantries across the country (Nanney et al., 2016). In particular, meal programs and food
pantries are in most cases located in shelters, schools, community centers, places of worship and
other communication locations that can reach older adults and other vulnerable households in the
US.
Social policies that make older adults with little difficulties are often associated with
increased enrollment rates. Social workers can play an essential role in directing older adults to a
broad range of beneficial food programs, including assisting them to gain access to local senior
transportation. Older adults in the US may be unaware of numerous food programs that exist in
their community. They can also assess whether an older adult in a given community needs food
assistance, including eligibility for certain food programs (Nanney et al., 2016). Some older
adults may know some of the criteria used to determine an individual qualify for given food
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