Did you know that individuals age 65 and older make up 14.5% of the U.S. population? The senior population is growing faster than ever. And with the rise of the aging population comes a rise in demand for Meals on Wheels.
What are Meals on Wheels? These programs deliver meals to individuals that can’t buy or prepare their own meals—often senior citizens. Read on to learn more statistics about aging and the increasing demand for Meals on Wheels.
The Number of Seniors Will Double by 2060
Over the next 40 years, the number of senior citizens in the US will double from 46 million to 100 million. How? Simple: people are living longer.
Average life expectancy is almost 79 years. As life expectancy grows, a larger proportion of the population is in a higher age bracket. There are even a large number of Americans over the age of 100—over 50,000 according to the latest census data.
Soon, adults 65 and older will be about 20% of our population. And with an older population comes an increased need for these elderly individuals to be taken care of. For example, the growth rate of jobs in the home care sector is expected to increase by 41% by 2026.
Lots of older individuals are not able to cook for themselves. Therefore, one of the best ways to help take care of this rapidly growing senior population is to widely implement Meals on Wheels delivery services.
Over 2.4 Million Seniors Receive Meals on Wheels Each Year
Every year, Meals on Wheels serves over 2.4 million seniors. Using temperature-controlled vehicles, this service delivers meals to home-bound individuals who are not able to buy or make their own meals. A large proportion of these individuals are senior citizens.
So, how can Meals on Wheels help the senior population live better, healthier lives?
- It can help reduce obesity: 28% of senior citizens are obese. Research has shown that meals delivered at home to seniors can improve diet and nutrient intake (as well as general quality-of-life).
- It can provide food security: 9% of senior citizens live in poverty. Meals on Wheels can provide food security, as well as healthier meals than the fast food options they may have to buy otherwise.
- It reduces feelings of isolation: For senior citizens living at home, daily delivered meals ensure daily visitors. Not only will these seniors be less isolated, they will also have a consistent visitor who can keep tabs on their well-being. Daily-delivered meals improve feelings of isolation and loneliness, mental health, and self-rated health. They also reduce rates of falling and worries about being able to remain at home.
Start a Meals on Wheels Delivery Service Today!
So are you looking to get started with a great cause? Or maybe you’ve volunteered with Meals on Wheels for years and are looking to step up your participation. Why not buy a temperature-controlled vehicle to start delivering for Meals on Wheels?