Councillor Liz Fairhurst, Hampshire County Council’s Executive Member for Adult Social Care and Health, has agreed for investment of up to £16.4 million in a new Meals on Wheels contract, that will continue to provide meals for older Hampshire residents while reaching out to support younger adults for the first time.
The new service, due to start on 1 October 2018, will be offered to adults aged 18+ who have difficulty preparing food, and managing and maintaining nutrition, and who have; dementia, a learning disability, a mental health issue, a history of substance misuse, or a physical disability.
Councillor Fairhurst said: “Meals on Wheels offers a vital lifeline for many Hampshire residents, in terms of ensuring good nutrition, which is so important for good physical and mental health. Extending the service to younger people is an obvious next step for us as we seek to support all adults to live independently in their communities. “Sometimes a Meals on Wheels visit is the only social interaction a person may have all day, so the service also plays a valuable role in helping to prevent social isolation.”
The service delivers a two course hot lunchtime meal, with the additional option of afternoon tea. Meals on Wheels drivers are also trained to carry out a wellbeing check in addition to the delivery of the meal. This ensures that wellbeing and safety concerns are identified and action taken in a timely fashion. Drivers report concerns to the relevant Hampshire County Council team or call for emergency services where necessary.
Those who receive the Meals on Wheels service have been assessed as having a need for support to manage and maintain nutrition.
On average there are currently 1,770 customers receiving Meals on Wheels from one to seven days a week, and nearly 35,000 lunchtime meals are delivered each month. Over 64% of customers are aged 75 and over, with 36% aged between 55 and 75. The proportion of those aged 85 and over is expected to increase by almost 30%, to 54,600 people, by 2023.
Further information is available at: https://www.hants.gov.uk/socialcareandhealth/adultsocialcare/olderpeople/mealsonwheels