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Tuesday July 16, 2024

Savvy Living

Savvy Senior

Best Meal Delivery Services for Seniors

Could you recommend some healthy meal delivery options for seniors who do not cook or go out often? My 80-year-old parent is interested in options that offer convenient home delivery at affordable prices.

There are a wide variety of healthy meal delivery options that can help non-cooking seniors who live at home. Here are several top options.

Community-Based Programs


Start by checking if there is a senior home delivery meal program available in your parent's area. Meals on Wheels is the largest program that most people are familiar with. Many communities offer senior meal delivery programs sponsored by other organizations.

To find services available in your parent's area, do an online search or call the area aging agency near your parent. You may utilize the Eldercare Locator, a public service of the U.S. administration on Aging at 800-677-1116 to get the local number.

Meal programs across the U.S. deliver hot meals daily or several times a week and are available to qualifying seniors over age 60 who have problems preparing meals for themselves, as well as those with disabilities. Weekend meals, usually frozen, may also be available for delivery. Some programs will also provide specialty meals for those with specific dietary needs (diabetic, low-sodium, kosher, and more).

Most of these programs typically charge a small fee or request a donation. Others may be free to low-income seniors who qualify for Medicaid. There are also some Medicare Advantage plans that cover limited meal service benefits.

Meal Delivery Service Companies


Another great option is to order pre-made meals online from a meal delivery service company. These companies provide a wide variety of tasty meal choices and will usually post the nutrition information for their meals on their website. For more information on these companies, pricing and their menus, search online using keywords such as "best meal delivery services for seniors."

Most companies will also cater to a host of dietary and medical needs, such as low-sodium and low-carb meals, diabetic meals, gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegetarian options, making the ordering process easy and convenient.

Depending on the company you choose, the food arrives either fresh or frozen and most of them deliver across the nation. Prices vary, but generally start at around $8 and can be as much as $13 per meal, plus shipping. However, some companies may provide discounts or free shipping when you order meals in bulk. Most of these companies will also work with Medicaid and some Medicare Advantage plans to help reduce costs.

Grocery Stores and Restaurants


Depending on where your parent lives, home delivered meals from local grocery stores or restaurants may be possible. These options will likely be more expensive and will be wholly out of pocket. Some grocery stores offer a selection of pre-cooked meals and foods, including roasted chicken, mashed potatoes, fresh soups and salads. Contact the grocery stores in your parent's area to learn more about this option.

If your parent has a favorite restaurant, check with the restaurants to see if they offer home delivery. Alternatively, your parent can download a food delivery service app onto their smartphone to order meals from local restaurants that may not offer home delivery.

Savvy Living is written by Jim Miller, a regular contributor to the NBC Today Show and author of "The Savvy Living" book. Any links in this article are offered as a service and there is no endorsement of any product. These articles are offered as a helpful and informative service to our friends and may not always reflect this organization's official position on some topics. Jim invites you to send your senior questions to: Savvy Living, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070.

Published July 7, 2023
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