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A new report has called on local authorities, the food industry and the voluntary sector to do more to make sure that older people are able to access an affordable, healthy and safe diet, with initiatives potentially including slow checkout lanes, in-store offers targeted towards this demographic and shopping buddy schemes.
The University of Hertfordshire study has suggested that while encouraging those over the age of 60 to shop online is well intentioned, it could have a knock-on effect and increase social isolation by reducing the chances for community interaction and also the exercise that going to the shops could bring.
The conclusion was made that measures like making lunch clubs and meals on wheels services more appealing, enhancing the shopping experience in supermarkets and making sure that people have strong social networks to support food-buying and consumption would most benefit older people.
“Failure to act could result in older people’s food security, and therefore their health and wellbeing, declining at a faster rate, placing greater pressure on the NHS and care providers,” professor of food and public health Wendy Wills said.
It’s worth looking into whether there are already lunch clubs on offer in your local area, as many supermarkets and cafes already offer this around the UK. Such clubs have anything from a couple to around 50 older people, taking place in a variety of venues, giving people the opportunity to socialise on a regular basis.
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