Van Lankford from the Surry and Stokes area is on a mission to see more families share sit-down Sunday dinners with their senior loved ones. The reason? New research shows that 50 percent of surveyed families living near senior relatives feel they do not share enough meals with older loved ones, losing an important family connection.
“For seniors, it’s not what’s on their plate that matters most at mealtime — it’s who is at the table with them,” said Lankford, owner of the local Home Instead Senior Care office. “When seniors share meals with a companion, they have a better mealtime experience — both nutritionally and emotionally.”
Almost 75 percent of the people surveyed said they only sit down for a family meal with senior loved ones for special occasions, events or holidays. They say a big part of the problem is time — both not having enough of it and conflicting schedules.
To encourage families to make time for these meals, the Home Instead Senior Care Foundation will donate $1 to Meals on Wheels America (up to $20,000 total through July 31) for each person that commits to regularly scheduling family dinners at SundayDinnerPledge.com. Pledging to have a sit-down dinner with loved ones will help to ensure other seniors will have a quality meal through the Meals on Wheels program.
“We hope families will make the pledge to either revive or begin new mealtime traditions with their senior loved ones,” Lankford said. “This small commitment can have a big impact on a senior’s well-being.”
To help families across the country host their own Sunday dinner, Home Instead Senior Care has partnered with celebrity chef and mother of four Melissa d’Arabian to develop easy, nutritious recipes. Additional resources include tips for how to involve seniors in meal planning and preparation, pre- and post-dinner activities and meal plans for healthy, inexpensive meals that all generations can enjoy.
For these free resources and more information on how to bring back the Sunday dinner and reconnect with senior loved ones, visit www.SundayDinnerPledge.com or call Home Instead Senior Care at 336-789-4472.