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The Boston Globe

Health & wellness

Daily Dose

Can free meals keep seniors out of nursing homes?

Can providing free meals to seniors in failing health prevent some from winding up in nursing homes? In a study published last week, Brown University researchers found that, all things being equal, the amount a state spends on subsidized meals correlates with a reduction in the percentage of relatively healthy seniors in nursing homes.

The researchers examined state expenditure data for subsidized meal delivery programs and compared it with the percentage of “low-care” nursing home residents — who don’t use most nursing home services or require much supervised care — living in more than 16,000 nursing homes nationwide.

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