OMAHA, Neb., May 6, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Fifty percent of those living near senior relatives agree that they do not have enough sit-down dinners with those loved ones, according to a recent survey of North Americans.* And, more than one in four (27 percent) of North Americans who live with other family members admit they aren't having family dinners often enough. This data represents a growing trend, as nearly half of surveyed adults (45 percent) agree that the frequency of these mealtime experiences have decreased since their childhood. To help reverse this trend, Home Instead Senior Care®, has partnered with celebrity chef and mother of four, Melissa d'Arabian to encourage U.S. families to bring back the Sunday dinner and commit to having a sit-down dinner with their loved ones.
"For seniors, mealtime is a key component of healthy aging. It's proven to be critical to quality nutrition, medication management and preventing feelings of isolation," says d'Arabian. "Sharing nutritious and balanced meals not only helps families physically, but also emotionally."
According to the survey, most families (73 percent) only sit down for a family meal with senior loved ones for special occasions, events or holidays. Despite the importance of keeping this tradition, many list time as the culprit for not hosting more family dinners – both not having enough of it (40 percent) and conflicting schedules (52 percent).
To encourage families to make time for these meals, the Home Instead Senior Care Foundation® will donate $1 to Meals on Wheels America (up to $20,000 total) for each person that pledges to hold a family dinner at SundayDinnerPledge.com through July 31, 2015. Visitors will be asked to commit to scheduling a meal with their families, on a regular basis, with the hope of bringing back the Sunday family dinner tradition in the process. Pledging to have a sit-down dinner with a senior loved one will help to ensure other seniors will have a quality meal, friendly visit and safety check delivered by Meals on Wheels programs across the country.
"In our over-scheduled lives, so many of us have let the Sunday dinner take a back seat to picking up fast food and catching up on the DVR," added d'Arabian. "But mealtime traditions should not be so quickly dismissed. Committing to sitting down and eating together can have a big impact on the health of our families and loved ones."
To help families across the country host their own Sunday dinner, Home Instead Senior Care is offering several free resources, including tips for how to involve seniors in meal planning and preparation, pre- and post-dinner activities and recipes for easy, inexpensive meals that all generations can enjoy.
For these free resources and more information on how you can bring back the Sunday dinner and reconnect with your senior loved ones, visit www.SundayDinnerPledge.com and take the Sunday Dinner PledgeSM today.
* Home Instead, Inc. completed surveys Feb. 10-15, 2015, with a random sample of 1,000 households in the U.S. and Canada. Participants were 50 percent male and 50 percent female, with 900 households in the U.S. and 100 in Canada.
About Melissa d'Arabian
Food Network star, best-selling author, writer, and mom of four Melissa d'Arabian is an expert on affordable and healthy family home cooking. Well known for her "Ten Dollar Dinners" show and best-selling cookbook, she also hosts Food Network web series "The Picky Eaters Project" and serves as a lead judge on "Guy's Grocery Games." Her new "Supermarket Healthy" cookbook is available now. www.melissadarabian.net.
About Meals on Wheels America
Meals on Wheels America is the oldest and largest national organization supporting the more than 5,000 community-based senior nutrition programs across the country that are dedicated to addressing senior hunger and isolation. This network exists in virtually every community in America and, along with more than two million volunteers, delivers the nutritious meals, friendly visits and safety checks that enable America's seniors to live nourished lives with independence and dignity. By providing funding, leadership, education and advocacy support, Meals on Wheels America empowers its local member programs to strengthen their communities, one senior at a time. For more information, or to find a Meals on Wheels provider near you, visit www.mealsonwheelsamerica.org.
About Home Instead Senior Care®
Founded in 1994 in Omaha, Nebraska, by Lori and Paul Hogan, the Home Instead Senior Care® network provides personalized care, support and education to help enhance the lives of aging adults and their families. Today, this network is the world's leading provider of in-home care services for seniors, with more than 1,000 independently owned and operated franchises that are estimated to annually provide more than 50 million hours of care throughout the United States and 14 other countries. Local Home Instead Senior Care offices employ approximately 65,000 CAREGivers℠ worldwide who provide basic support services that enable seniors to live safely and comfortably in their own homes for as long as possible. The Home Instead Senior Care network strives to partner with each client and his or her family members to help meet that individual's needs. Services span the care continuum – from providing companionship and personal care to specialized Alzheimer's care and hospice support. Also available are family caregiver education and support resources. At Home Instead Senior Care, it's relationship before task, while striving to provide superior quality service.
About Home Instead Senior Care Foundation®
Since 2003, Home Instead Senior Care Foundation has been helping aging adults. The Foundation has granted nearly $2 million to nonprofits serving seniors in the United States and Canada. This is important because 1 in 6 seniors lives in poverty – and, our senior population will double by year 2030. One hundred percent of every donation benefits local nonprofits that provide programs and services to enhance the lives of aging adults and those who care for them.
SOURCE Home Instead Senior Care