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FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

This section provides brief answers to questions related to nutrition and aging of interest to practitioners and the general public. FAQs are developed by the National Policy and Resource Center on Nutrition and Aging staff and professionals in nutrition and aging.

We encourage individuals to present questions and share with us information. Please email your suggestions for questions to nutreldr@fiu.edu or send to our address noted on the home page.


Where can I find reliable nutrition information for older adults? (Posted 08/01/01)

Where can I find resources and services that help older adults? (Posted 08/01/01)

What nutrition programs are available for older adults? (Posted 05/02/01)

Where can I find reliable nutrition information for older adults?

1. Locating nutrition information on the Internet

2. Locating a Registered Dietitian

  • While much information can be found on the Internet, it is important to contact a Registered Dietitian (RD) to develop a personalized nutrition plan.

  • The American Dietetic Association (ADA) website, www.eatright.org, has a Find a Dietitian section. Simply enter your zip code and agree to the liability disclaimer to continue. This is a complimentary service provided by the ADA.

  • Dietitians from State and Local Chapters of the ADA can be contacted for nutrition information. A directory of Affiliate (State) Associations (link) is located on ADA's website.

  • Most hospitals in the U.S. employ a Registered Dietitian who conducts outpatient counseling. Calling your local hospital will put you in touch with the RD.  

Where can I find resources and services that help older adults?

1. The Eldercare Locator

  • Nationwide, directory assistance service designed to help older persons and caregivers locate local support resources.
  • Provides information on how to locate a wide variety of services like meals, home care transportation, housing alternative, home repair, recreation, social activities, legal and other community services.
  • Provides the names and phone numbers of organizations within a desired location, anywhere in the country.
  • It is a public service of the Administration on Aging and it is administered by the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging and the National Association of State Units on Aging.
  • To find services and resources in your area call the toll-free number:
    1-800-677-1116, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m., Eastern Time.
  • The online version will provide consumers with basic contact information about elder service agencies in the state and local area requested by zip code.

2. Resource Directory for Older People

  • Online directory that provides the names, addresses, phone numbers, and fax numbers of organizations that serve older adults.
  • Includes Federal Government agencies, State Units on Aging, State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Programs, AoA-supported resource centers, professional societies, private groups and volunteer programs.
  • It is a cooperative effort of the National Institute on Aging (NIA) and the Administration on Aging (AoA).
  • The Resource Directory can be accessed at: <http://www.aoa.dhhs.gov/aoa/resource.html>

3. The Meals on Wheels Association of America

  • Provides a “Search for a Program” service through their website. Click the tab “Search for a Program” on the left side of their home page and follow the instructions.

4. Benefits Check Up

  • A new computer program, established by the National Council on Aging, helps older Americans, their families and caregivers determine what benefits seniors qualify for and how to claim them.
  • The Benefits-Checkup database has information on roughly 1,000 different federal and state programs designed to help older citizens, including Supplemental Security Income, Medicaid, food stamps, pharmacy assistance, property tax relief, veterans benefits, health insurance, counseling, heat and energy programs and nutrition services.
  • The process begins at www.benefitscheckup.org. A questionnaire pops up with inquiries about income, health, prior work experience, and other pertinent information. It takes about 15 minutes to fill out and results in a report that tells the senior about benefits programs for which he or she qualifies. The Benefits Checkup is completely confidential.


What nutrition programs are available for older adults?

Congregate Meal Services

  • Provides noon and/or other meal in a congregate setting
  • 116,463,430 meals (1997)
  • 2,112,923 participants
  • 57 State Agencies on Aging
  • 655 Area Agencies, 221 Tribal Orgs
  • 4,000 nutrition service providers
  • Funding: Older Americans Act, State Funds, Medicaid, local funds, voluntary participant contributions, USDA commodities
Home Delivered Meal Services
  • Provides one or more meals up to 7 days/week to homebound adults
  • 123,455,185 meals (1997)
  • 890,489 participants
  • Funding: Older Americans Act, State Funds, Medicaid, local funds, voluntary participant contributions, USDA commodities
Nutrition Screening, Education, and Ancillary Services
  • Nutrition and health screening and referral
  • Nutrition education and counseling
  • Shopping assistance, grocery delivery, and transportation
  • Funding: Older Americans Act, State Funds, Medicaid, local funds
Food Stamps
  • Provides benefits monthly for eligible participants to purchase approved food items at approved food stores.
  • Eligibility and allotments are based on household size, income, assets, and other factors.
  • Funding: The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) of USDA
Adult Day Care Meal Services Commodity Distribution


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National Resource Center on Nutrition, Physical Activity & Aging
| Florida International University, OE 200, Miami, FL 33199
Phone: 305-348-1517 | Fax: 305-348-1518 | E-mail:

This website is supported, in part, by a grant from the Administration on Aging, Department of Health and Human
Services (DHHS). Grantees undertaking projects under government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their
findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, reflect official DHHS policy.