A very important pilot program directly benefiting seniors in Indianapolis was recently announced. Meals on Wheels and Eskenazi Health will be partnering to provide medically tailored meals delivered to seniors at home who have been discharged from Eskenazi Health. This program is so important – by caring for patients with nutritious, medically personalized meals so soon after they go home, the chance of readmission to the hospital will greatly decline. If seniors in Indianapolis are properly nourished, their recovery will be more successful. If their recovery is more successful, they will stay out of medical institutions like the hospital or nursing home. This outcome will reduce the strain on Medicare and Medicaid budgets. But more importantly, it will enhance the life of seniors when they need it most — when they are sick and trying to get better. Food is Medicine!
I have been involved with Meals on Wheels for the last couple of years and serve on the Board of Directors. As the Co-Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee, I could not be more excited about this program. The research is staggering and shows that hospital readmission rates are driven by poor nutrition in the elderly during their period of recuperation. Poor nutrition is caused by lack of access to healthy, nourishing food and this program is aimed directly at this problem and will undoubtedly be a huge success. What a creative, groundbreaking effort that will immediately and positively impact seniors’ lives.