Meals on Wheels should be supported by the Government to ensure the wellbeing of older, vulnerable, and self-isolating adults during lockdown

Angeliki Papadaki*, Ailsa M Cameron, Miranda E G Armstrong, Paul B Willis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Other contribution

Abstract

Executive summary:
 Meals on Wheels, a service offered by different local authorities, deliver meals to older, vulnerable, and housebound adults, who might otherwise not be able to
acquire and prepare their own meals, particularly during lockdown
 The benefits to service users go beyond nutrition, and include welfare checks,
promoting independence and identifying and addressing isolation and loneliness
 The service benefits the wider community by reducing pressure on carers and
potentially decreasing healthcare expenditures and the need for residential care
 Service providers are often the first responders to an emergency and work jointly with other emergency agencies to ensure service users’ wellbeing
 Meals on Wheels are facing several challenges, including outsourcing administration, funding cuts and closures, and lack of publicity to people who might need the service
 The COVID-19 pandemic brought an increase in service users, concerns with
sourcing food, increased demand on human resources, and uncertainty about how the service will cope in continuous lockdowns
 During the lockdown, doorstep meal deliveries and drivers’ worries around protective equipment and their own health meant less time to interact with service users and less thorough welfare checks
 It is crucial for Meals on Wheels to receive enhanced and ongoing support from local and national Governments to ensure increased demands during lockdown are met
 Public policies need to prioritise Meals on Wheels as a central emergency service to protect vulnerable adults during lockdown
Original languageEnglish
TypeWritten evidence submitted to the Public Accounts Committee
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2021

Structured keywords

  • SPS Exercise, Nutrition and Health Sciences
  • SPS Centre for Research in Health and Social Care

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