Are meal delivery services the answer for the senior in your life?
Good nutrition is important at any age. But eating well isn’t easy for many seniors. Getting to the grocery store or carrying groceries is difficult for people who can’t drive or have mobility issues. Preparing meals is challenging for seniors with vision or balance problems, or arthritic hands. Memory issues can make it unsafe to cook, because there’s a risk of leaving something to burn or even starting a fire.
Low moods, fatigue or other health issues make it hard for seniors to feel motivated to cook. Often, it’s easier to skip meals or rely on processed foods that are high in sugar, fat and salt, which can lead to more health problems.
If you’re the caregiver for a senior in your life, ensuring they get nutritious meals is a priority.
But when you’re balancing a busy family or work schedule with grocery shopping and meal preparation for your aging parent, it can make life stressful. So, are senior meal delivery services the answer to your prayers?
Senior meal delivery services: convenience at a cost.
There are many senior meal delivery options, but most fall into two main categories: Ready to Cook and Ready to Eat.
Ready to Cook: Meal Kits
These services send out packages of fresh ingredients with instructions on how to turn them into a tasty meal. Popular meal kit options include Home Chef, Sun Basket, HelloFresh and Amazon Fresh. They’re a good option for seniors who have no problem cooking, but can’t easily get to the grocery store. Most meal kit options only cover three to four meals a week. Prices vary, but a box covering three meals for two people each week costs around $12.
Ready to Heat: Meal Delivery
These services offer pre-prepped meals that are ready to go into the microwave or oven. Popular choices include Diet-to-Go, Silver Cuisine, Magic Kitchen and Healthy Chef Creations. They’re a good option for seniors who find it difficult to shop and cook. Prices vary, but you can expect to pay upwards of $30 per day for three meals plus a snack.
Meals on Wheels is another option for older people who are homebound and/or unable to shop and cook.
If budget is less of a concern, you may consider hiring a personal chef to cook meals for your loved one. There are lots of personal chefs out there, so do your homework. Many will do the shopping, cooking and cleanup for you, so you can relax knowing your loved one is getting nutritious and tasty meals, along with the chance to talk to someone new.
Unfortunately, senior meal delivery services don’t come with a dishwasher. If dirty dishes are piling up in the sink, it may be time to look at senior living communities that offer assisted living meal plans, personal care or memory care.
Assisted living meals: There’s more to healthy living than good food.
Residents at a senior living community benefit from well-balanced meals and have the added benefit of enjoying them among friends.
Isolation is a serious health risk for older adults. At a community like The Heritage of Green Hills, residents can stay connected, enjoy delicious meals and good conversation in a choice of dining venues, and participate in a variety of life-enriching activities.
Instead of feeling isolated, especially if they live alone, your loved one will be among friends and peers who can empathize with and even laugh at shared struggles. They’ll also have the support of friendly staff and a range of health services to meet their needs, including personal care to help with daily tasks.