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Preventing Elderly Self-Neglect with Healthy Foods & Stocked Pantries

Photo: CDC by Dawn Arlotta via FreeStockPhotos.biz

World Elder Abuse Awareness will be commemorated Thursday, Jun. 15, and while seniors are often targets for scams and exploitation, health officials say elder self-neglect is a growing concern, a state where a person is no longer able to take proper care of themselves because of physical or mental impairment.

One of the most dangerous yet preventable components of elder self-neglect is malnutrition and dehydration. A lack of adequate nutrition can be be the first step down the path of early decline in an older person’s health. 

Southwest Florida dietician and nutritionist Dee Harris of D-Signed Nutrition joins Gulf Coast Live to discuss ways to help seniors  get the getting the right nutrition, from stocking a healthy pantry to tips about the best pre-prepared foods to pick up at the store. She'll also discuss home-delivery meal prep services like Hello Fresh, Blue Apron, Green Chef, and Sunbasket, all options for people who still want to cook but are overwhelmed by trips to the grocery store and the work involved in preparing a meal.

Also joining the conversation is Sherry Young, the Health and Wellness Coordinator for the Southwest Florida Area Agency on Aging, to highlight ways local organizations are trying to inspire the elderly to pay attention to what they’re eating, while also preparing caregivers on ways they can ensure seniors are meeting their nutritional needs.

Matthew Smith is a reporter and producer of WGCU’s Gulf Coast Live.
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