Better health through better nutrition

Meet Georgia Boley, the registered dietitian at the Sheridan Senior Center. In 1974, Title VI under the 1965 Older Americans Act authorized funds for nutrition programs for elderly. Under the OAA, the Sheridan Senior Center receives supplemental funding for its on-site and home delivered meals program. One of the requirements for funding is to have a dietitian available to Senior Centers.

What does Boley’s job description include as the contract dietitian at the Center?

Her objectives are three-fold.

Boley’s primary objective is to ensure that meals served through the Senior Center meet the latest nutrition guidelines including recommended dietary allowances for vitamins and minerals. These nutrition guidelines are set forth by the United States Department of Agriculture and the National Academy of Science’s Institute of Medicine.

“I also look for AMDRs,” Boley said.

She holds a masters degree in nutrition from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.

What are AMDRs? “Acceptable macronutrient distribution range,” Boley said.

Translation, please? Boley said that an acceptable range of fats, proteins and carbohydrates are provided in each meal.
“The USDA issues updates every five years to put nutrition guidelines into a usable format for the public.”

“Many of us have seen the past food pyramid and now currently the nutrition plate,” Boley said. “Then in 1990, the USDA introduced Dietary Reference Intake, expanding upon RDA’s to also include AMDR’s as well as upper limits for vitamins and minerals. The goal now is to promote health and to reduce chronic disease through nutrition.”

Each quarter, Boley has the final word on menu plans before Senior Center menus are published to the public.

She confirms that the acceptable nutritional content ranges are included in meal plans that have been preliminary analyzed.
What is Boley’s second objective as dietitian at the Senior Center?

To provide nutritional counseling to residents who are age 60 years and older and who are registered for meals at the Senior Center. OAA funding requires that individuals register annually with the senior center. The registration process allows diners to make a voluntary contribution toward the meal as well as provides some insight into changes in their nutritional needs.

Boley’s focus is on nutrition’s role in helping with disease management. These diseases include diabetes, kidney impairment, and gastrointestinal issues, just to name a few.

There is no charge for a nutritional counseling session with Boley and an appointment with her can be made by calling the Senior Center at 672-2240.

The objective from a counseling session is to develop an effective nutrition plan that is not overwhelming and helps individuals build clear steps to improved disease prevention and management through better nutrition health.

Boley’s third objective is to provide quarterly nutrition presentations to the public. Earlier this year, Boley hosted a public workshop on the importance and sources of protein in diet. She is currently preparing for a public presentation on the benefits of probiotics.

“I’m also open to suggestions and ideas on topics of interest to the public. I invite folks to call me at the Senior Center if they have a topic they would like me to present,” Boley said.

She completed her registered dietitian internship through the Cleveland Veterans Administration Medical Center prior to accepting a position in 1998 at the Sheridan VA where she was a clinical dietitian.

In addition to her work as a contract dietitian through the Senior Center, Boley teaches a Nutrition for Healthcare class to nursing students at Sheridan College and an Introduction to Sports Nutrition class at the college.

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Tom Cotton

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