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Preventing Elderly Self-Neglect with Healthy Foods & Stocked Pantries

Photo: CDC by Dawn Arlotta via
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

World Elder Abuse Awareness will be commemorated Thursday, Jun. 15, and while seniors are often targets for scams and exploitation, health officials say  elder self-neglect is a growing concern, a state where a person is no longer able to take proper care of themselves because of physical or mental impairment.

One of the most dangerous yet preventable components of elder self-neglect is malnutrition and dehydration. A lack of adequate nutrition can be be the first step down the path of early decline in an older person’s health. 

Southwest Florida dietician and nutritionist Dee Harris of D-Signed Nutrition joins Gulf Coast Live to discuss ways to help seniors  get the getting the right nutrition, from stocking a healthy pantry to tips about the best pre-prepared foods to pick up at the store. She'll also discuss home-delivery meal prep services like Hello Fresh, Blue Apron, Green Chef, and Sunbasket, all options for people who still want to cook but are overwhelmed by trips to the grocery store and the work involved in preparing a meal.

Also joining the conversation is Sherry Young, the Health and Wellness Coordinator for the Southwest Florida Area Agency on Aging, to highlight ways local organizations are trying to inspire the elderly to pay attention to what they’re eating, while also preparing caregivers on ways they can ensure seniors are meeting their nutritional needs.

Copyright 2020 WGCU. To see more, visit WGCU.

Matthew Smith is a reporter and producer of WGCU’s Gulf Coast Live.
Julie Glenn is the host of Gulf Coast Live. She has been working in southwest Florida as a freelance writer since 2007, most recently as a regular columnist for the Naples Daily News. She began her broadcasting career in 1993 as a reporter/anchor/producer for a local CBS affiliate in Quincy, Illinois. After also working for the NBC affiliate, she decided to move to Parma, Italy where she earned her Master’s degree in communication from the University of Gastronomic Sciences. Her undergraduate degree in Mass Communication is from the University of Missouri at Kansas City.