Fine Gael Meath East TD, Regina Doherty, has today (Tuesday) called for the Ratoath Meals on Wheels service, of which she is chairperson, to be linked up with a new locally developed HSE initiative aimed at encouraging healthy eating amongst older people.
“This new project being run by the HSE is a result of collaboration with Third Age in Summerhill and aims to tackle the problem of malnutrition amongst older people. It’s estimated the problem costs the State about €1.5 billion every year due to longer hospital stays and increased GP visits.
“The findings on the eating habits of older people are stark; one in three older people admitted to hospital are at risk of malnutrition. The ‘Eating Well into the Future’ project aims to identify nutritional concerns at an early stage, explore practical solutions, and deliver helpful information about nutrition.
“The health and nutrition programme will be delivered to older people in the community, with a pilot scheme due to begin in Co Meath. I am encouraging the scheme’s operators to consider incorporating it with the local Meals on Wheels service in Ratoath, which delivers three mornings a week.
“The Meals on Wheels service has built up a long standing relationship with the older people we serve, and I think it would be an ideal channel to deliver this new educational and health eating support programme.
“I would like to commend Third Age for the work on establishing the project, and I hope this locally developed initiative can be turned into a national success.”