The More Than a Meal Process Evaluation began with exploratory research across six Meals on Wheels America Member programs in diverse settings across the country. During intensive conversations with program staff and volunteers, researchers aimed to understand how different programs conducted health and safety screenings, identifying both service gaps and opportunities for expansion. Based on those learnings, researchers then moved into the next phase of this study, assessing the use of a client change of condition mobile application across pilots with two Member programs. In each pilot site, Meals on Wheels drivers were equipped with mobile devices that enabled them to report changes of client condition in a timely fashion while on their delivery routes and relay any immediate needs to emergency personnel and their program’s care coordinator. The care coordinator was then able to follow up with each client and take action as needed (e.g., connecting the client to social services, health providers, transportation, etc.).
The goals of the More Than a Meal Process Evaluation collaborative research project were three-fold:
- Understand the workflow and capabilities of Meals on Wheels programs that includes safety and wellness checks performed by Meals on Wheels meal delivery drivers;
- Identify the needs of the healthcare market as it relates to daily monitoring of homebound, older adults; and
- Develop and test an innovative and enhanced meal-delivery service that includes standardized health and safety screening assessments that can be readily conducted by those delivering meals and care coordination to connect clients to support services – the Core Client Change of Condition Protocol.
Preliminary findings from the More Than a Meal Process Evaluation suggest that the tested Core Client Change of Condition Protocol – in optimizing the Member programs’ meal delivery mission and infrastructure – has much potential in enabling clients to maintain their independence and remain in their communities of choice. Research findings are currently being synthesized, and we will share more information as it becomes available.
ABOUT THE BROWN UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH
Through research, education, and public service, the Brown University School of Public Health strives to improve the health of individuals as well as populations. Working within all of Brown University, and the wider community, students benefit from substantial opportunities to gain and apply knowledge, while faculty members put their findings into practice to impact local, state, and national policy.
ABOUT THE GARY AND MARY WEST FOUNDATION
The Gary and Mary West Foundation is a private, 501(c)(3) non-operating foundation solely funded by Gary and Mary West and is dedicated to helping make successful aging a reality for America’s seniors. Working with grantees such as the Gary and Mary West Health Institute, Gary and Mary West Health Policy Center and other senior-focused national and community-based organizations, the Foundation’s outcomes-based philanthropy supports initiatives to advance home- and community-based healthcare delivery, services and supports that preserve and protect seniors’ dignity, quality of life and independence. The San Diego-based Foundation is celebrating its 10-year anniversary in 2016 and accepts grant proposals by invitation only. Learn more at gmwf.org, and follow us @GMWFoundation.