Empowering people to thrive as they age.

Nutrition Innovations Projects

AgeOptions is testing the benefits of a closed-loop referral system for people over 60 who appear to be food insecure.

The project is made possible by a 2018 federal Administration for Community Living grant.

The Nutrition Innovations project uses a closed-loop referral system in which specific health care providers complete referrals for persons 60+ years of age who appear to be food insecure and send these referrals to AgeOptions through an electronic resource and referral platform. Staff at AgeOptions screen the referred individuals for their needs related to food insecurity, plus other social determinants of health.

AgeOptions also assists referred individuals to gain access to various government programs and other services and programs offered by AgeOptions and our partners. Typically, referred individuals identified as being food insecure are linked with home-delivered meals, congregate dining and local food pantries.

Once the screening and linkage has been made on behalf of a referred individual, AgeOptions staff informs the health care partner of the programs and services that are now available to the individual. This action is referred to as closing the loop.

The Nutrition Innovations project includes an evaluation of the impact of the programs and services on the referred individual’s health and well-being, as well as the value and benefit of knowing the information will have to the health care provider in terms of knowing the outcome of their referral.

Closed Loop Initiative

The project is made possible by a 2018 federal Administration for Community Living grant.

The Nutrition Innovations project uses a closed-loop referral system in which specific health care providers complete referrals for persons 60+ years of age who appear to be food insecure and send these referrals to AgeOptions through an electronic resource and referral platform. Staff at AgeOptions screen the referred individuals for their needs related to food insecurity, plus other social determinants of health.

AgeOptions also assists referred individuals to gain access to various government programs and other services and programs offered by AgeOptions and our partners. Typically, referred individuals identified as being food insecure are linked with home-delivered meals, congregate dining and local food pantries.

Once the screening and linkage has been made on behalf of a referred individual, AgeOptions staff informs the health care partner of the programs and services that are now available to the individual. This action is referred to as closing the loop.

The Nutrition Innovations project includes an evaluation of the impact of the programs and services on the referred individual’s health and well-being, as well as the value and benefit of knowing the information will have to the health care provider in terms of knowing the outcome of their referral.

Title III C 1.5 Demonstration

The project is make possible by a 2020 federal Administration for Community Living grant.

AgeOptions will test what we are referring to as Title III C 1.5, a program that addresses a gap in the continuum of services under the Older Americans Act between Title III C 1, Congregate Meals and Title III C 2, Home Delivered Meals.  The program’s goal is the modernization of the nutrition infrastructure by:

  • Targeting an unmet need through an alternative delivery mechanism using unique partnerships
  • Providing a new lower cost decreased overhead option of 21 meals per week
  • Providing opportunities for socialization for persons who are at-risk of isolation
  • Decreasing food waste; increasing food consumption
  • Targeting an ethnically, racially diverse and limited English-speaking older adult population  with emphasis on those with chronic conditions requiring tailor-made diets of fresh, frozen and shelf stable food.

Title III C 1.5 will address the needs of older adults who are unable to shop, but want to cook or persons who are unable to shop and cook, but may have a home care worker who could make the meals.

Under this grant, AgeOptions will develop in collaboration with partnering agencies, meal boxes designed for cultural preferences and dietary requirements of a number of ethnic populations.  Meal plans and recipes will be included in the food/meal boxes in order that when the food is prepared, it will meet federal nutritional requirements.

A national advisory council comprised of our partners and national leaders in nutrition will help us move the program through its development, implementation and transition to community-based agencies.

For more information on both of these projects, please contact AgeOptions at 708-383-0258.

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