Research has shown that sharing meals together can have many positive effects on one’s health—for example, increased life expectancy, improved mental health and cognitive status, decreased high blood pressure, and lower feelings of depression and loneliness, among many others. For older adults, sharing meals can be an especially important component of overall health and wellness. Older adults who frequently eat alone are at a fifty-nine percent higher risk of physical and mental decline, and are twice as likely to experience depression that those who frequently share meals with others. To highlight the importance of this issue for the 190,000 seniors living in Baltimore County, the Baltimore County Department of Aging (BCDA) invites us all to participate in No Senior Eats Alone Day on September 12, 2019. BCDA will be hosting “No Senior Eats Alone” meals at senior centers throughout the county. Individuals, businesses, community groups, churches, and more can also participate as partners with BCDA by hosting their own events, any time during the week of September 9-15.
If you are unable to attend a sponsored meal, there are many other ways you and/or your organization can participate.
-Share a meal with an older adult that you work or volunteer with
-Provide a gathering space for other adults to eat together
-Attend a meal or activity at a local senior center or senior housing facility
-Take an older adult out to a restaurant with you
To register, attend and/or sponsor an event, and for more information, visit the BCDA’s website.