Company pushes Sunday dinners

Published 8:33 pm Thursday, July 9, 2015

Larry Neal is on a mission to see more families share sit-down Sunday dinners with their senior loved ones.

New research shows that 50 percent of surveyed families living near senior relatives feel they do not share enough meals with older loved ones, losing an important family connection, according to officials from Home Instead Senior Care.

“For seniors, it’s not what’s on their plate that matters most at mealtime — it’s who is at the table with them,” said Neal, owner of the Suffolk Home Instead Senior Care office, which serves Western Tidewater. “When seniors share meals with a companion, they have a better mealtime experience, both nutritionally and emotionally.”

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Almost 75 percent of the people surveyed said they only sit down for a family meal with senior loved ones for special occasions, events or holidays. They say a big part of the problem is time — both not having enough of it and conflicting schedules.

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 through July 31) for each person who commits to regularly scheduling family dinners at

“We hope families will make the pledge to either revive or begin new mealtime traditions with their senior loved ones,” Neal said. “This small commitment can have a big impact on a senior’s well-being.”

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