Metro Social Services: Senior Nutrition Services
Within Nashville's Metro Social Services Department (MSS), the Family Services Program serves adult (18+) residents of Davidson County, addressing their needs. This can take the form of offering assistance to develop life skills, counseling, providing referral services, and more.
In a rapidly growing city, it's easy for seniors' needs to be overlooked. The elderly can suffer from poor nutrition and isolation — grocery shopping, transporting food home from the store, and cooking can all be challenges for seniors. And, for seniors with limited mobility, social activities and interactions with peers may decrease.
The Senior Nutrition Program promotes better health by providing qualified recipients with meals and helping Nashville's senior residents to continue to comfortably live within the community. As well as providing nutritionally sound meals to eligible seniors and people with disabilities, MSS also sells nutritional supplements, a food supplement, with a doctor's prescription.
Why It Matters
Even healthy elderly residents can be prone to isolation as well as subpar nutrition. Illness and disability only compound the problem.
The Senior Nutrition Programs provide key benefits:
- Decreased isolation: Seniors either receive a check-in along with their home-delivered meal or can socialize with fellow seniors.
- Solid nutrition: The meals provided are nutritionally sound.
“Congregate meal sites are a positive gathering place for seniors where they are able to socialize with their peers, and at the same time receive a hot healthy meal daily (five times a week). This may be the only meal the senior receives throughout the day, and the only time the seniors are able to engage with their peers.”Carol Wilson, Program Manager II
A Growing Number of Seniors
A report from Social Services finds that Davidson County's population of people 60 and over is projected to increase almost 80% between the years 2010 and 2040. It will grow from 95,204 people to 171,221.
How MSS Supports Senior Nutrition
MSS has several programs around nutrition:
- Congregate Meals: Along with nutritious meals, seniors have an opportunity to socialize with their peers at congregate meals, which take place in several locations, including many senior high-rise developments, throughout Davidson County. Many meal sites also offer activities — ranging from crafts to physical fitness classes — aimed at the senior audience, as well.
- Home-Delivered Meals: Seniors who are homebound — whether due to illness, disability, or incapacitation — may be eligible for meals delivered to their homes Monday through Friday.
The Senior Nutrition Program invites Davidson County residents who are age 60+ — as well as their spouses — to join congregate meals. Also, people with disabilities who are under age 60, but reside in a senior high-rise development where congregate meals are served, are welcome to attend.
Home-delivered meals are provided for Davidson County residents who are age 60+, and are confined to their home and unable to prepare their own meals or receive meals from nearby friends and family. To receive home-delivered meal services, seniors must have a referral from a health care professional.
MSS served more than 800 seniors over 8800 meals in March 2018!
Congregate Meals are hot meals provided to qualified individuals daily in 15 congregate group settings, residential and community centers throughout Davidson County. Based on client needs, homebound meal clients may receive up to 5 hot or frozen meals for the week. See Older Americans Act (OAA) and Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability Program and Policy Manual (Chapter Seven) for additional information.