Evaluation of the Effect of the Older Americans Act Title III-C Nutrition Services Program on Participants' Food Security, Socialization, and Diet Quality

Evaluation of the Effect of the Older Americans Act Title III-C Nutrition Services Program on Participants' Food Security, Socialization, and Diet Quality

Published: Apr 21, 2017
Publisher: Cambridge, MA: Mathematica Policy Research
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Authors

Elizabeth Gearan

Rhoda Cohen

Katherine Niland

Nicholas Redel

Erin Panzarella

Barbara Carlson

In an effort to ensure that the health and social needs of older adults are adequately met and to rebalance long-term care provision away from institutionalization and toward home and community-based services, the Administration on Aging (AoA) within the Administration for Community Living of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) administers the Title III-C Nutrition Services Program (NSP) as part of the Older Americans Act (OAA). The NSP promotes access to nutritious meals, nutrition education, and nutrition counseling; facilitates social contact; and conducts health promotion activities all which help older adults maintain their independence in their homes and communities.

Two core components of the program are the provision of congregate and home-delivered meals. NSP congregate meal participants can receive a nutritious meal at a senior center or other community location, where they can socialize with peers and may receive other services such as nutrition education, screening, and counseling. Non-nutrition services, including health promotion activities, transportation and case management services, may also be offered.

Participants who are homebound receive nutritious home-delivered meals. Like congregate meal settings, home-delivered meals may offer an opportunity for socializing through interactions with meal delivery drivers and other volunteers. Homebound participants may also receive nutrition education, screening, and counseling. In this way, the NSP provides homebound participants with a primary access point for many home- and community-based services to help meet their health and nutrition needs.

The mission of AoA is to develop a comprehensive, coordinated, and cost-effective system of long-term care that helps older adults maintain their independence in their homes and communities. As part of its ongoing efforts to support program planning, improve program efficiency, and strengthen program effectiveness, AoA contracted with Mathematica Policy Research to conduct the Title III-C NSP Evaluation. The three-part evaluation consists of a process evaluation of program administration and service delivery, a program cost analysis, and an evaluation of the effect of the program on participants’ outcomes. This report is the first of two reports about the NSP outcome evaluation. It summarizes findings from the outcomes evaluation using data collected from program participants and nonparticipants.

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