Malcolm Carey (Liverpool Hope University)
Topic: Food bank perceptions and food insecurity of older people in the UK: study findings and potential social work support
Food insecurity continues to increase in the UK, and includes a lack of adequate resources to shop, cook, and eat. Although among the social groups most likely to experience poverty, food insecurity and malnutrition, relatively few older adults currently access food banks. This is despite malnutrition representing a common cause of functional decline and mortality amongst older people.
This presentation draws from interviews in Cambridge with older adults, volunteers and other support staff working with older people. Why some older people who experience hunger or malnutrition may not access the services of a food bank is detailed, and outcomes to some other recent studies are compared. The impact of stigma and pride upon many older adult’s viewpoints is highlighted, as well as the possible negative effects of chronic illness, isolation and reductions in social care funding.
The potential of education and practice within social work to better support older people experiencing food insecurity and malnutrition is discussed, along with more co-production and engagement with older adults.