Nutrition services are a vital component to helping Colorado seniors stay independent and healthy. Good nutrition can support active aging, and poor nutrition can impair quality of life. The Older Americans Act and Older Coloradans Act provide funding for nutritious meals, nutrition screening, nutrition education and counseling, health promotion and disease prevention, and physical activities. Colorado nutrition services for older adults include:
- Congregate meals -Senior centers, senior apartments, recreation centers and churches are examples of locations that serve meals in a group setting. Meals are designed to meet the current dietary reference intakes and the dietary guidelines for Americans.
- Home-delivered meals -At times, an illness or hospitalization make it difficult to prepare a nutritious meal. In these situations, it is reassuring to know that a hot, nutritious meal will be delivered by a caring volunteer.
- Nutrition screening, education, and counseling
- Nutrition screening evaluates the nutritional health of consumers using the nutrition screening initiative tool on the consumer information assessment. The nutrition screening initiative was developed by the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Dietetic Association, and others to promote the integration of nutrition screening and intervention into health care for older adults.
- Nutrition education takes the idea of a healthy, nutritious meal and carries it throughout the day. Topics include practical suggestions to extend the nutrition dollar, good food sources of specific nutrients, eating for chronic illness and safe food preparation.
- Nutrition counseling is performed by a registered dietitian, or individual with equivalent expertise, and may be available to those who score at high nutrition risk on the nutrition screening initiative tool.
- Physical activity -Adults are living longer and enjoying life more due to the increases in lifespan and quality of life sustained by physical activity and exercise. Healthy aging programs include Steps to Healthy Aging, fall prevention and Eat Better/Move More.
Contact your local Area Agency on Aging to take advantage of nutrition services in Colorado.
Apply for a variety of cash and food assistance benefits through the Colorado Program Eligibility and Application Kit (PEAK) website. Click to learn about the PEAK benefits and to apply.
- Hunger Free Colorado
Hunger Free Colorado leads efforts to connect families and individuals to food resources and fuel change in systems, policies and social views, so no Coloradan goes hungry.
Go to HungerFreeColorado.org to learn more about available programs and resources for individuals, families, children and seniors, or call the bilingual, statewide Hunger Free Hotline toll-free at 855.855.4626 or in the Denver Metro area .720.382.2920 to get connected to food resources by phone.