University of Glasgow / Food Train Partnership Project for 'Eat Well Age Well'
In Scotland, the number of Older Adults (OAs) over 65 is predicted to make up a quarter of the population within the next 20 years, where the fastest growing age group in Scotland is people 75+ (National Records of Scotland (NRS), 2012). This increased life expectancy is a positive trend, but gains can be compromised by different experiences and inequalities in the pursuit of healthy ageing. There is a significant difference between life expectancy and healthy life expectancy, with research indicating there can be as much as an eighteen-year difference between the two (Records of Scotland, 2019). How these extra years of expectancy equate to healthy life expectancy is a key societal challenge. The objective of this present partnership between University of Glasgow and Food Train LTD social enterprise, as part of the Eat Well Age Well project, was to investigate factors mitigating against social isolation, food insecurity and malnutrition for older adults in Scotland, in order to promote healthy age ‘in place’.
FT is a registered Scottish charity, volunteer organisation, and social enterprise started in 1995 by older people for older people. Providing 5 critical services for adults over the age of 65, such as weekly grocery shopping and befriending and meal sharing service. FT meets the needs of clients in 9 local authority areas and serves roughly 3200 older people across those areas, a number that continues to grow due to the difficulties faced with Covid-19. Our UofG partnership with FT has therefore proved crucial in meeting the social and nutritional needs of older adults during the Covid-19 crisis, and when considering how best to support older adults in Scotland post-Covid.