As we mentioned in our article about caregiver duties, if you are caring for a senior, one of your major responsibilities will involve grocery shopping and meal prep. As our loved ones age, it becomes increasingly important for them to have a nutritious and healthy diet. At the same time, our elderly relatives may start to find cooking difficult and time-consuming. Even if they are able to prepare meals, their diet may not be sufficiently nutrient-dense, leading to a loss of muscle mass and strength. In turn, the lack of a nutritious diet can increase seniors’ risk of injury and illness. This is where meal delivery services come in handy. Meal delivery services bring prepped meals or portioned out ingredients to your loved one’s home, making it much easier for the elderly to stay healthy. In this article, we’ll talk about meal delivery services that offer either cooked and proportioned meals or meal kits that can be easily prepared.
Benefits of Meal Delivery
There are many reasons why your elderly loved ones can benefit from meal delivery services. If they struggle with physical mobility or balance issues, delivered meals can eliminate the need for chopping, using a hot pan, or using the oven. If it’s memory issues they are dealing with, seniors can often feel unsafe cooking. With meal delivery services, there is no danger of your loved one leaving the stove on and burning something. Many of our elderly relatives also battle with tiredness, depression, or a myriad of other health issues that make them unmotivated when it comes to cooking. If your loved one lives alone or with a caregiver who is unable to prepare meals every single day, meal delivery services are a great way to ensure that seniors do not skip meals and receive the proper amount of nutrients.
Some caregivers and seniors prefer prepped meals. Others would rather receive the ingredients and cook themselves. This article hopes to offer you a range of options that will help you find the right fit for your elderly loved one.
If your elderly loved one lives alone and they only need fully prepared dinner a few nights a week, Freshly may be the right fit for them. Freshly is a meal delivery service that offers seniors single-portion, fully prepared meals. With Freshly, there is no need for cooking or preparation. Seniors only have to heat up the meal. Each meal can be frozen, lasts up to 5 days in the fridge, and is certified gluten-free. Freshly also allows seniors to choose low carb, low dairy, and peanut-free options from a range of about 30 meals each week. Seniors can choose between 4,6,10 or 12 meals per week, order online, and easily amend or cancel their order. Meal plans start at $8.49 per meal.
This meal delivery service is designed specifically for older adults and provides fully prepared frozen meals. Customers have the option to choose between an A La Carte menu – where they can mix and match soups, main courses, desserts, and side dishes, and a Complete Meals menu – which packages entrees and side dishes together. It’s also important to note that this meal delivery service has options for specific dietary needs. At times, our elderly loved ones have a detailed list of foods they are and are not allowed to eat. These strict diets can be difficult to accommodate. Magic Kitchen makes it easier for caregivers and the elderly. They tailor meals for low carb, low sodium, diabetes-friendly, dialysis-friendly, vegetarian, and renal diets.
At Magic Kitchen, certified dietitians review each meal to make sure that it is nutritionally dense and most meals only need to be heated up in the microwave. Seniors have an option of choosing between 7,14, and 21 meals per week and the weekly rate starts at $11.70 per meal.
At Mom’s Meals, dishes are designed by dieticians, fully prepared, and delivered at your door. This meal delivery service caters to older adults and has several meal plans that are suitable for seniors who have diabetes, cancer, difficulty swallowing, kidney disease, or other medical conditions. Their meals last for up to two weeks in the fridge, and are not frozen but refrigerated; so, they are easier to heat up. Prices start at $6.99 per meal and Mom’s meals also accept health insurance (Medicare and Medicaid) for payment, meaning that part or all of the cost may be covered by insurance. We suggest you contact Mom’s Meals customer service and your insurance provider to learn more about this.
Diet-to-Go is for those seniors that are worried about weight management. They make it much easier to enjoy healthy and nutritious meals each day by offering dishes that are portion-controlled. In addition, Diet-to-Go provides customers with access to a free health coach (via phone or email) and you can stop and resume the service at any time.
Typically, this service provides two meals a day, five days a week, and costs $12.20 per meal. There are four main plans you can choose from: a weight control diet that is low in sodium, fat, carbs, and cholesterol; a heart-healthy nutritional diet that works to control your blood sugar; a plan designed for those who want to control carbs; and a vegetarian diet that substitutes eggs, dairy, beans, and soy in place for meat.
So far, we have listed meal delivery services that specialize in prepped dishes. However, you may be looking for a service that delivers groceries and ingredients in the correct portions, and leaves the cooking to the customer. If you are the one taking care of an elderly parent at home and cooking is something you enjoy doing together or alone, Home Chef could be the right option for you. With Home Chef, you’ll be able to make delicious, healthy meals without wasting time on prep work or grocery shopping.
This meal delivery service provides ingredients for meals that can be made in under 30 minutes, offering over 15 different weekly recipes and low carb, low calories, and vegetarian options. You can choose between 2,4,6, and 8 servings per meal, and prices start at $6.99 per serving.
How Do You Choose?
Each older adult has different needs when it comes to diet and nutrition. So, when choosing the meal delivery service for your elderly loved one, we suggest you consider what will work best for them specifically. Your senior may be struggling with low energy or a disability, making it difficult for them to cook. In this case, fully prepared meals would be the best option. Conversely, some seniors may thoroughly enjoy cooking and feel safe doing so. They may just not have enough time or motivation to do the grocery shopping. In this case, meal kit delivery services can provide them with the proper ingredients and lighten the load, allowing them to just enjoy the cooking process.
If you are a caregiver for an older adult with specific dietary needs, you should also take this into consideration when choosing a meal delivery service. There are many different companies on the market that will tailor the meals to your senior’s requirements. Finally, if you’re worried about the affordability of the service, we advise you to find a company that accepts insurance and then, speak with your insurance provider and see if they offer meal delivery benefits.
Here is a list of questions to think about before making your decision:
- What is your budget?
- Do you need single meals or several servings?
- Are there any dietary restrictions you need to keep in mind?
- How many meals does your elderly loved one need?
- What kind of delivery schedule works best for you?
- Does the delivery service have good reviews?
If your loved one is someone who struggles with cooking, grocery shopping, or just does not have the energy or motivation to create nutritionally-dense meals, a meal delivery service is a great way of making sure that they stay healthy. Whether you’re looking for fully prepped meals or meal kits, there are many different meal delivery services on the market, far beyond what has been listed here. But this list is a great start if you’re just trying to see what your options are. You can start by speaking with your healthcare provider to see if they can offer coverage for meal delivery. You can also reach out to a registered dietitian for advice and choose the best option for you and your elderly loved one.
- The 7 Best Meal Delivery Services for Seniors in 2020, Healthline, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/meal-delivery-for-seniors#bottom-line