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“Dear Jayne, I need ideas for easy and healthy meals for seniors who live alone!”

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Dear Jayne:

I am a social worker at a large regional hospital. I often see older patients who live alone being admitted for a variety of health conditions that seem to be exacerbated by a poor diet. Many of them have given up driving or only drive on a limited basis. Some also live with chronic health conditions and mobility limitations that make grocery shopping a real challenge.

What I’d like to be able to do is create a quick list of healthy meal delivery services. Because we have patients coming to us from a wide area of the state, and even a few surrounding states, I need to focus on those with nationwide reach.

Do you have any suggestions?

Best regards,

Lori

Easy and Healthy Meal Delivery for Seniors at Home

Dear Lori:

I’m sure a list like that will be very helpful to seniors and their adult children. We know so much of the time families are separated by many miles and adult children can’t always be there to help make sure a parent is eating well.

One staple in most communities is Meals on Wheels. Families can search for the closest program using Meals on Wheels of America’s website. Volunteers from these programs usually deliver once a day bringing three well-balanced meals when they visit.

Another benefit of having a daily Meals on Wheels delivery is that is can act as a well-person check. The volunteer who delivers the meal has an opportunity to chat face-to-face with the senior. They can notify an emergency contact if the senior doesn’t answer the door at delivery time or if something doesn’t seem quite right. For families that brings peace of mind each day.

Fortunately for older adults, there are also an increasing number of home delivered meal services. These chef-inspired meals are similar to those you would find in our Benchmark Senior Living communities.

A few services to explore include:

  • HomeBistro: What we like about this service is that meals are already prepared. The senior only needs to “heat and eat!” This company follows a Mediterranean style diet when planning menus. Each meal is rich with fruits, vegetables, nuts, lean meats, legumes and more. All foods are locally sourced and then flash frozen before being shipped. Meals contain 700 calories or less and no more than 800 milligrams of sodium. You choose your own menu items and have no commitment for future orders. Meals range in price from $8.49 to $24.99. You can also buy meal bundles. Shipping costs are based on total dollar amount and range from $15.95 to $59.95.
  • Blue Apron: This meal delivery service makes it easier for seniors to stick to a healthy diet even if they’ve given up driving. They could select the 2-person plan which gives them three meals that serve two people each week. For a senior living alone, each meal would be enough for two days. For seniors who aren’t interested in cooking, however, this might not be the best option. While all ingredients and recipes are included in each week’s box, they do require preparations and cooking. The 2-person, three meal plan is $59.94 with no cost for shipping.
  • Hello Fresh: Seniors who opt for this service can select from the 2-person Classic or Vegetarian plans. The older adult can also choose to have two, three or four meals delivered each week. There are six recipes to choose from each week. Like Blue Apron though, all meals require preparation and cooking. Both2-person, three meal plans are $59.94 a week with free shipping.
  • Martha & Marley Spoon: Martha Stewart and Marley Spoon teamed up to create this meal delivery service. Like the others, seniors can choose the 2-person meal option and select two, three or four meals per week. Clients of the service receive an email with meal options about 10 days before shipping. This is another service that requires meals to be prepared and cooked after arrival. Three meals per week is $61.50 with no additional shipping charges.

You might want to suggest families give each service a try and then continue with the one that works best for their senior loved one.  Of course, these suggestions are offered as general information.  For dietary concerns, you should always encourage the family to  consult with their loved one’s medical provider to determine the most appropriate diet.

Until next time,

Jayne

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Jayne Sallerson is a warm, enthusiastic and compassionate executive with a heart for working with seniors. Jayne has been in senior care for more than 20 years and she says, “I still love what I do.” At Benchmark Senior Living, Jayne now serves as Executive Vice President. A native of New England, Jayne loves to travel, meet new people, and hang out with her favorite pug, Henry.
Jayne started this blog as a way to share the many questions she and her team get every day with other people looking for answers.