It seems as though a new diet debuts every year or so, complete with menus and tips that promise a swift path to a healthier life. But for lonely older adults, few food plans focus on the one ingredient most miss: companionship.
A companion who is involved in the meal process may minimize these risks for loneliness that can lead to poor nutrition, noted Home Instead, Inc., Gerontologist and Caregiver Advocate Dr. Lakelyn Hogan. Call it the companionship diet. A companionship diet plan is more than a health trend, Hogan explained. It’s a mind shift that offers an older adult a partner to help him or her navigate the entire dining experience, from meal planning to actually enjoying a meal together.
- Companionship has never been more relevant for today’s seniors. Quarantine and self-isolation orders left thousands of older adults at home alone during COVID-19. According to research, isolation can contribute to loneliness and nutritional risk.
- U.S. seniors who eat most of their meals alone are more than twice as likely to be lonely (42 percent) than seniors who eat most of their meals with others (19 percent), according to research conducted by Home Instead, Inc., franchisor of the Home Instead network.
- Even before the coronavirus pandemic forced the increased isolation of so many, 75 percent of lonely seniors in the U.S. (69 percent in Canada) already were not getting the right amount of at least one element of nutrition.
Check out the resources below to learn more about the Companionship DietSM.