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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

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Opponents of latest AR state tax cuts say they benefit wealthy Arkansans; Julian Assange agrees to a plea deal that would allow him to avoid imprisonment in US; Tech-based carbon-capture projects make headway in local government; NV nonprofit calls Biden's student debt initiatives economic justice.

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Charges against fake electors in Nevada are dismissed, Milwaukee officials get ready to expect the unexpected at the RNC convention, and the Justice Department says Alaska is violating the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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A Minnesota town claims the oldest rural Pride Festival while rural educators say they need support to teach kids social issues, rural businesses can suffer when dollar stores come to town and prairie states like South Dakota are getting help to protect grasslands.

Research: Meals on Wheels benefits people with dementia living at home

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Wednesday, April 3, 2024   

Meals on Wheels programs could be a powerful tool for addressing the needs of people living with dementia, according to a study from Ohio State University researchers.

The community-based program delivers weekly meals to food-insecure seniors.

Lisa Juckett, assistant professor of occupational therapy at Ohio State University, conducted interviews with caregivers, people living with dementia, and the staff of LifeCare Alliance, the largest Meals on Wheels provider in the state. She said the findings revealed delivery drivers are often a critical source of social interaction and an "extra set of eyes" on homebound individuals.

"That Meals on Wheels driver is then able to perform very brief but important wellness checks and safety checks," Juckett explained. "To make sure that meal is actually being delivered, the door is being answered."

According to Meals on Wheels America, last year more than 90,000 Ohio seniors received over eight million home-delivered meals through the program. More than 80% of people with dementia in the U.S. live at home, and an estimated 60% are unable to eat or prepare food on their own.

States rely on a combination of federal funding, private donations and fundraising agencies to keep local Meals on Wheels programs operating. Juckett added the findings come on the heels of Congress deciding to cut funding for the Older Americans Act, which allocates money to Meals on Wheels programs nationwide.

"Meals on Wheels programs are always on the chopping block, when it comes to federal budgets being adjusted every year," Juckett pointed out. "We need more advocacy efforts to validate or justify the importance of these programs."

According to the group Alzheimer's disease International, more than 55 million people around the world live with dementia, a number expected to double over the next two decades.


Disclosure: Ohio State University contributes to our fund for reporting on Arts and Culture, Environment, and Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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