4 Benefits a Meal Delivery Service Can Have for Seniors

This is a guest post by Dan Scalco

Fresh off the line Beef Pot Pie, Glazed Beets, & Santa Barbara Vegetables ready to go.

Fresh off the line Beef Pot Pie, Glazed Beets, & Santa Barbara Vegetables ready to go.

Putting a delicious meal on the table every day can be quite a hassle for senior citizens. Many of them deal with mobility issues or other health concerns that can make it hard for them to get to the grocery store or spend time in the kitchen. As a result, meal delivery services have become increasingly popular for seniors who need help when it comes to food.

One of the most popular options is Meals on Wheels, which sends daily deliveries of fresh-made dishes. Seniors simply need to unwrap them and enjoy. It doesn’t get much easier than that! But there are a few other benefits that a meal delivery service can have for seniors. Here’s what you need to know about them:

1. They’ll Receive Healthy & Easy Meals

Unfortunately hunger is a very real issue throughout the world, including here in the United States. According to research from the American Academy of Family Physicians, there are an estimated 3.7 million malnourished seniors living in this country.

The reality is, far too many seniors are going hungry. It’s partly due to the fact that their mobility issues can make it hard for them to cook healthy homemade meals. As a result, they go without food and their bodies don’t receive the nutrients they need to function at their best. Instead of leaving them to struggle in the kitchen, a meal delivery service like Meals on Wheels can really make a difference.

How? Meals on Wheels delivers freshly made, hot dishes that are ready to eat. That means there’s no added stress of having to buy groceries, prep, and cook. Seniors can spend less time in the kitchen and can focus on enjoying their food instead.

Not only that, but these meals are prepared fresh, in a kitchen by professionals, and delivered right to their door. It’s going to be a lot more flavorful and delicious than some of the frozen dinners you’ll find at the grocery store that are almost always packed with sodium and preservatives.

2. There’s No Need to Go Grocery Shopping

When you’re receiving pre-made meals straight to your door, there’s no reason to do a regular grocery shop every single week. This takes a lot of added stress off the seniors in your life. They won’t have to drive themselves to the store or rely on someone else to take them. Plus, they won’t have to take public transportation to get there either.

And when you think about it, grocery shopping can be a major hassle for our elders. They have to first plan and create the grocery list, get to the store, walk around while pushing the shopping cart, then make it back home, and put everything away. For seniors who have mobility issues or other physical impairments, this is a rather challenging task that many cannot even safely attempt.

3. Deliveries Allow Them to Have Face-to-Face Contact With Someone

Another benefit you might not think about is the fact that these seniors get face-to-face contact when the deliveries are made. For many seniors, especially those who live alone, they don’t always get this kind of personal connection with another person on a regular basis. They may talk on the phone with friends and family members, but actually being able to see someone may not happen that often.

A study from Brown University revealed that seniors benefited from the contact they got when daily Meals on Wheels deliveries were made. In fact, the research revealed those seniors who received meal delivery experienced fewer falls and even less hospitalizations. If there’s a senior in your life who lives alone, they may really appreciate and look forward to those daily visits.

4. It’s Even Suitable for Those on a Budget

Using a prepared meal delivery service can really benefit those seniors who are on a tight budget. Instead of stressing about the varying cost of groceries, they can sign-up for Meals on Wheels and pay on a regular basis. They’ll always know what their meals will cost, which helps to keep them on track with spending.

Plus, you do get a great deal for the value you’re getting. In the end, using a meal delivery service can actually save cash when compared to the price of frozen dinners you’d buy at the grocery store. Even seniors want to keep a little extra cash in their pockets!

Guest post written by Dan Scalco. Follow him on Twitter at  twitter.com/DanScalco

Dan founded digitalux.com and is a columnist  at Inc, Entrepreneur, and HuffPo. He also blogs about meal delivery services over at Food Box HQ.

Make A Difference Day 2017

It was a gorgeous fall this year. The leaves held on and we were rewarded with a few weeks of brilliant color. Once the leaves fell, the timing was perfect for United Way’s “Make A Difference Day” and Meals on Wheels clients’ homes where leaves were piling up.  

Meals on Wheels’ Volunteer Coordinator Jarita Webster worked with 35 employees from both Hewlett Packard Enterprise and HP Inc. as part of Make a Difference Day through the United Way of Larimer County. The volunteers raked and bagged leaves for 40 of our clients in Loveland and Berthoud. 

“This is the third year in a row that I’ve organized our effort to rake leaves for clients of MOW of Loveland and Berthoud. My team has consistently found the activity very rewarding,” said Randy Nettleton, R&D Project Manager, Hewlett Packard Enterprise.

Jarita added, “Thanks to the City of Loveland’s donation of large leaf bags, along with all the HP and HPE volunteers, we were able to help 40 of our clients get their yards in shape for winter.” 

Referral Services Available at Meals on Wheels

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Jayne Southard, BSW, Support Coordinator, has worked at Meals on Wheels of Loveland and Berthoud since 2015. She assists our clients with maintaining optimal functionality and quality of life in their homes, and she assists with informing clients regarding financial, medical, home services and benefit referrals.

Jayne can meet with clients in their homes, or by phone, to do an assessment and help identify what referrals, resources, or options are available to improve day-to-day living. Prior to joining Meals on Wheels, Jayne worked as a Social Worker serving seniors in Larimer County for many years, and she has the ability to find just the right resources for our clients.

When a new client signs up for meals, a letter of introduction explaining the referral services as well as Jayne’s contact information is sent to all new clients, and to existing clients upon request.

It’s no secret our volunteer drivers build strong relationships with our clients. Many times they may be the only contact our clients have. If a client shares a difficulty, or observed to be struggling in some area of their lives, we ask that our drivers remind them that Jayne is available to help. If a client gives a driver verbal permission to share their name with our office, they will be referred to Jayne for assistance.

Jayne is also available to our volunteer drivers in the event there are any issues or concerns that may be surfacing with a client. She assists in devising strategies to address a situation or provide a listening ear.

Jayne says, “I am so grateful to be part of the Meals on Wheels team!” If you have any questions about Jayne’s services, please call 970.667.0311 or email: jayne@lovelandmealsonwheels.org.

We’re grateful to you, Jayne!