Healthy Aging & Independent Living [HAIL]

Flow of Project

Upon completing the various risk-screening tools, clients are categorized as high, moderate, or low risk. One of our registered dietitians makes an appointment to visit clients at home to complete a full nutritional assessment and provide nutrition education. The dietitian then works with the client to set behavior goals to improve the client’s health.

Nutrition students from Texas Christian Univerisity make phone calls to clients to follow up with the nutrition education provided and the behavior goals to encourage positive outcomes.
Examples of Nutrition / Diabetes Education

  • Decreasing sodium in diet
  • Visualizing appropriate portion sizes
  • Planning for healthful snacks
  • Understanding importance of proper hydration
  • Incorporating physical activity into daily routine
  • Understanding steps in diabetic foot care
  • Administering insulin properly
  • Mastering use of glucometer
  • Learning signs/ symptoms of high and low blood sugars

HAIL Services

  • Screen 3,000 Meals On Wheels, Inc. of Tarrant County clients annually for nutritional risk and diabetes diagnosis and risk.
  • Deliver in-depth, one-on-one nutrition and/or diabetes education by a registered dietitian to 1,250 at- risk clients in their homes.
  • Complete 1,500 follow-up phone calls with clients to encourage compliance with the behavior goals set and the education provided.

The HAIL project aims to keep people healthy at home and reduce preventable hospitalizations and emergency room visits, ultimately saving valuable taxpayer dollars. The clients are mostly referrals from Meals On Wheels, Inc. of Tarrant County, are age 35 years and older, and have either a diagnosis of or are at increased risk for diabetes or are at increased nutritional risk.

Goals With Projected Outcomes

  • Reduce hospitalizations and emergency room visits by 10% for six months after intervention compared with six months before intervention.
  • Enhance health status and capacity for self-care.
  • Improve body mass index based on self-reported height and weight at six months after intervention.
  • Decrease nutritional risk score based on Nutrition Checklist for Older Adults screening tool at one year after intervention.

Public Benefit

Using four of the 10 disease states we find most often in our clients, we determined an average cost of hospitalization at $27,414. If you extrapolate this figure with the reduction of hospitalizations of 42% found by an independent evaluator, this project potentially saved taxpayers $11,513,880 in a six-month period.