Management & Engagement for Aging LearnerS (MEALS)

2023 – 2027

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

Of the exponentially growing aging population in Texas, people 65 and older have high rates of chronic conditions addressing which is a significant cost burden on the state, a problem that will exacerbate over the next three decades (Adams et al, 2022). Expecting to reach 9.4 million in 2050, three out of four older adults have multiple chronic conditions which place them at greater risk for poor health-related quality of life, unnecessary hospitalizations, and even premature death (Adams et al, 2022). Engaging them in evidence-based chronic disease self-management education programs can positively affect their health and mitigate the chronic disease burden (Administration for Community Living, 2022).

MEALS aims to address this problem by implementing an ACL-endorsed evidence-based CDSME program and a self-management program in three critical high-need areas of Texas: Dallas County, encompassed within Public Health Region (PHR) 3, Angelina County (PHR 5), and the Lower Rio Grande Valley (PHR 11). These areas are served by Dallas County Health and Human Services, the Angelina County Senior Center; and Amigos del Valle, respectively, each of which provides congregate meal services to older Texans in their areas. Congregate meal sites are critical entry points to community-based long terms services and supports (LTSS). Through their congregate meal services directed at low-income and underserved Older Texans, these sites aim to empower Older Texans to live active, healthy, and independent lifestyles in their communities.

SPONSORS

APPROACH

  • Program and Policy Evaluation

  • Survey Research

  • Research Design and Data Analysis

  • Technical Assistance

RESEARCH TEAM

  • Nandita Chaudhuri, Ph.D. (Principal Investigator)

  • Paul Busch, Ph.D.

  • Linda Netterville, Nutrition Consultant

  • Andrea Sesock

  • Zachariah Brattin

  • Anthony Jackson

  • Megumi Tanabe