Grant Will Bolster the Council on Aging of Central Oregon’s Nutritional Risk Programming, Including Home-Delivered Meals and Community Dining
Bend, Ore., February 18, 2019 – The Council on Aging of Central Oregon today announced that AT&T has awarded a $10,000 grant to serve older adults at risk of nutritional deficiency and social isolation in Central Oregon. The money will be used for Meals on Wheels services and community dining programs across the tri-county area.
“The recent dramatic increase in our older adult population means we are experiencing increased demand for both home-delivered meals for the homebound and community dining options for older adults who can get around,” said Susan Rotella, executive director of the Council on Aging. “AT&T’s generosity is timely as it helps us keep our older adult neighbors well-nourished and socially connected.”
Meals on Wheels provides free home-delivered meals to adults over the age of 60 who are at nutritional risk due to interim or long-term mobility challenges, impaired cognition or another assessed reason. In addition to delivering the meals, the Council on Aging’s volunteer drivers perform wellness checks and provide almost daily social connection for the homebound.
For older adults who can get around, community dining programs occur throughout the week at senior centers across the tri-county area and promote social connections over a hot meal, which is also free of charge.
“The Council on Aging is doing important, hands-on and heartfelt work to address food insecurity and loneliness in older populations,” said George Granger, president, AT&T Oregon. “We are happy to expand our support and address the needs of older adults in Central Oregon.”
“Social isolation is a key risk factor in aging populations,” added Rotella. “The impacts can be devastating to both physical health and mental well-being and include depression, anxiety, sleeplessness, and dementia. The AT&T grant helps ensure our nutritional programs can reach at-risk older adults who can benefit in several powerful ways.”
Since 1975, the Council on Aging has served as the designated Area Agency on Aging for Deschutes, Crook and Jefferson Counties, offering adults aged 60 and older and their loved ones a range of support services. A non-profit organization, the Council on Aging advocates for, empowers and guides older adults and their loved ones to live with independence and well-being in age-friendly communities—places where infrastructure, policies and practices are developed to make the community livable, accessible and responsive to the needs of people of all ages, especially older adults.