WellSky Foundation Donates $50K to Senior Research Effort

Donation to Meals on Wheels America will fund effort to study how to better track and respond to factors impacting the health of seniors living at home.

WellSky Foundation has donated $50,000 to Meals on Wheels America to study the factors impacting seniors’ health and how to help seniors retain good health while living in their homes.

Established by HME Software company WellSky, WellSky Foundation aims to improve the quality of life for vulnerable populations. Meals on Wheels America supports more than 5,000 community-based programs that address senior isolation and hunger in the United States.

Through the donation, Meals on Wheels America and WellSky Foundation will research how healthcare organizations and local Meals on Wheels programs can partner to improve senior health outcomes. IThe effort will also examine patients transitioning from acute care settings and those facing multiple chronic health conditions.

The effort expands on earlier efforts by Meals on Wheels America to develop a technology-based process for reporting and addressing changes in the physical or mental condition of people receiving home-delivered meals.

The need for such a solution is becoming more important during the pandemic, and the research will hopefully pinpoint ways Meals on Wheels America can help promote senior wellness, according to Ellie Hollander, president and CEO of Meals on Wheels America.

“Amid the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of our work has become more evident than ever before, as has the need for cross-sector collaboration to expand our capacity and reach to keep more of our nation’s seniors healthy and socially connected,” Hollander said.

One in five Americans is age 60 years or older, and nearly 9.5 million seniors are threatened by hunger, according to data compiled by Meals on Wheels America in 2019,. Factors such as limited mobility, declining health, and financial strains make seniors especially vulnerable to hunger.

The added and far-reaching pressures of COVID-19, many seniors need more support than ever before. However, Meals on Wheels programs and their millions of staff and volunteers are also facing increased risks and service demand due to the pandemic.

“Meals on Wheels programs’ work is so necessary, and lives depend on them,” said Andrea Morgan, executive director of the WellSky Foundation. “During this time of incredible uncertainty, seniors who rely on meal delivery need stability and peace of mind that they will continue to receive nutritious food, and Meals on Wheels is making that happen and more.”

“We know that the pandemic has exposed preexisting socioeconomic and health inequities faced by communities across the U.S., especially older adults,” WellSky CEO Bill Miller said. “These challenges are complex and thus demand multifaceted solutions, the global health and community care technology company that established the WellSky Foundation.”

About the Author

David Kopf is the Publisher and Executive Editor of HME Business and DME Pharmacy magazines. Follow him on Twitter at @postacutenews.

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