Food Routines Among Older Adults Survey Data

Project description: Through five phases of research, consisting of focus group discussions, a survey, interviews, dietary analysis, and co-design workshops, the project investigates the barriers to accessing and consuming sufficient, culturally appropriate food among older adults, and the complex provisioning strategies elders use to mitigate household food insecurity. Using four counties in the Indiana Uplands as a case study, the authors determine: 1. What food insecurity looks like among seniors in rural Indiana; 2. How provisioning strategies of seniors change throughout a typical year, and how they changed over their lifetimes; 3.How various provisioning strategies shape food access and consumption by older Americans; 4. What program- and policy-specific leverage points exist to improve food security among older Americans; and 5. The extent to which communities, based on their existing assets, can devise sustainable programs to improve food security among older Americans. An additional research question was added in response to the Covid-19 pandemic which occurred during the study period: How did Covid-19 impact seniors' food provisioning strategies and to what extent did the pandemic impact the physical and mental well-being of seniors in the Indiana Uplands? The principal finding is that food insecurity, poor health and loneliness are inextricably linked. Critically, any solution to food insecurity must not only address issues of food access, but also must address the loneliness many older adults in rural locations face. The current pandemic has only added to feelings of loneliness and made accommodation of special diets more difficult.
The survey dataset, instrument, and codebook are a part of the "Complex Food Provisioning Strategies and Food Insecurity Among Low-Income Older Americans" research project. The survey had 1482 participants who are individuals above the age of 59 living in Crawford, Greene, Lawrence, and Orange Counties, Indiana.
food insecurity, community resilience, COVID-19, special diets, Indiana Uplands, social networks, congregate meals, Center for Rural Engagement
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