Seniors using Meals on Wheels services may soon be getting health and safety screenings along with their daily meals.

Fort Worth-based Meals on Wheels of Tarrant County is one of six Meals on Wheels organizations taking part in a national study to see if health and safety screenings can be incorporated with meal deliveries. The Gary and Mary West Health Institute, the Brown University Center for Gerontology and Healthcare Research and Meals on Wheels America will conduct the study, which will take place in the next two years.

The study is part of a research program called More Than a Meal, whose goal is to improve meal delivery and health services for seniors. Along with delivering meals, volunteers will have screening tools to assess health risks like falling, loneliness and depression.

“By researching how we can coordinate and extend the ability of the drivers to monitor the health and well-being of clients, we hope to identify new ways to improve the lives of seniors through the people that may be one of their only connections to the outside world,” said Shelley Lyford, president and CEO of the West Health Institute and Gary and Mary West Foundation.

Other organizations taking part in the study are Guernsey County Senior Citizens Center in Cambridge, Ohio; Meals on Wheels of Wake County in Raleigh, North Carolina; Meals on Wheels of Greater San Diego, Inc., in San Diego; Fresh Meals of Sheboygan County in Sheboygan, Wisconsin; and Pascack Valley Meals on Wheels in Westwood, New Jersey.

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