During the ongoing situation with COVID-19, many foodies here in Chicago and around the country have swapped dining out for staying in — that is, staying in at home to enjoy a delicious order of takeout from a beloved local restaurant.
As restaurants and markets in our area pivot to adapt to our “new normal,” many have expanded their delivery and carryout options. For seniors and caregivers, the world of meal delivery — including delivery apps, meal kits, and senior meal services — offers a rich opportunity to ensure that older adults are able to enjoy filling, nutritious, and satisfying meals from the comfort and safety of home.
Meal Delivery for Seniors: What Are Your Options?
Malnutrition is a serious and common health concern among the elderly. Meal delivery can take the guesswork out of meal prep, making sure that seniors are able to enjoy healthy and comforting meals on a regular basis. Meal delivery is a great way for long distance caregivers to make sure their loved ones are being taken care of, when they cannot be there in person. And for seniors and caregivers who are starting to feel a bit “cooped up” due to social distancing, ordering delivery from a local favorite is a great way to shake things up and go on a culinary adventure without leaving the house.
For older adults, one of the biggest benefits of aging in place is freedom and flexibility, including the freedom to continue enjoying their favorite foods while supporting their community. Curious about how you can get started with meal delivery? Let’s look at a few delivery options for seniors and caregivers to research — and some ways to make the most of your next tasty meal together!
Delivery Apps and Services
There are lots of meal delivery apps and websites that make it easier than ever to connect with local restaurants. These sites can have a bit of a learning curve, so it may be helpful to have a caregiver do the ordering on behalf of the senior. This way, the older adult doesn’t need to stress about reading the fine print, placing the wrong order, or protecting their payment information. With that said, many of these services can be intuitive and senior-friendly, as well — so if the senior wants to place an order for themselves, let them give it a shot!
Some of the most popular apps in the food delivery space include:
There’s also a growing number of more niche delivery options, such as the upscale Caviar and Goldbelly, which can allow you to order food to be sealed up and delivered from restaurants from all around the country.
When in doubt, many restaurants also allow online ordering through their own websites — and plenty of Chicagoland’s best restaurants also take orders by phone. To find out if your favorite local joint is offering carryout or takeout options during COVID-19, check out the handy resource Dining at a Distance, or search using this helpful map from the Chicago Tribune.
Cooking is a fun and fulfilling activity that people of all ages can enjoy together. Unfortunately, braving the grocery store for ingredients and combing through recipe books can make it difficult to get started, especially for older adults.
That’s where meal kit services come in. These services make it easy to get cooking by delivering boxes full of perfectly portioned ingredients and simple-to-follow recipes — all personally tailored to your preferences and palette. Most of these services operate on a subscription model that allows you to decide how often you get new meal kits. Plenty also offer deep discounts and flexible pricing plans if you’re just getting started. Here in Chicago, some popular meal kit options to look into include:
Senior Meal Services
Well before the situation with coronavirus, senior meal services helped ensure that older adults could get nutritionally balanced, nourishing meals — served up with a smile and pleasant company from a trusted delivery person.
As U.S. News & World Report puts it, a meal delivery program may help ensure that seniors “get the nutrition they need without having to shop on their own,” thanks to services offering “wholesome meals that can be tailored to your specific nutritional needs.” There are so many options out there that seniors may be able to find an option that supports their diet — whether they are watching their salt intake, eating to manage diabetes, or trying to switch to a more nutritionally balanced or plant-based diet.
Making the Most of a Meal at Home
Looking to transform getting takeout into an experience that your whole family will be able to treasure together? Here are a few ways to make meal delivery safer and more enjoyable:
- Go with contactless delivery during COVID-19. Right now, many delivery services have introduced contact-free options, with food being left safely on your doorstep. See if you can specify “contactless” delivery or pickup when you order from a local restaurant.
- Ordered for your loved one? Remind them that food is coming. Ordering food for a loved one can be a great gift, but it shouldn’t be a surprise. When you place an order on behalf of your loved one, make sure you tell them when the delivery is expected, and what to do. If your loved one has a standing delivery, make a note on their calendar or set up a reminder using their favorite alert system.
- Keep menus and contact information for your family’s favorites. Have a go-to? Keep the restaurant’s contact info handy, so you can order again in no time! Keep a folder of local menus, or post a list of food delivery resources on the fridge.
- Make mealtimes more social, whenever you can. Eating is a social event, and sharing meals can benefit seniors in countless ways. Whenever possible, try to share a meal together — even if this means doing so remotely, using a service like Zoom or connecting by phone. Break out the good silverware and plates, and make carryout into a party!
- Cut out distractions and make eating the main event. Many seniors have some basic difficulties with eating. To make things easier, make sure you focus on the food. Get rid of distractions like the TV or radio, and make sure everything is served in senior-friendly portions.
We’re Here for You
Have any more questions about how you can help your elderly loved ones to stay safe, healthy, and active during these uncertain times? Do you have an aging loved one who could benefit from the companionship and support of a trained professional caregiver?
Don’t hesitate to get in touch with Companions for Seniors whenever you want to discuss the best plan of action for yourself and the senior in your life. We’re always here and ready to help.
At Companions for Seniors, our mission is to help seniors live independently and with dignity in the comfort of their own home by empowering them to lead an active and enriched lifestyle, connecting them with their community, and nurturing meaningful relationships.
Our companions are trained and bonded, and can help provide a variety of services designed to help seniors remain in the comfort of their own homes, including providing assistance with housekeeping, activities of daily living (ADLs), driving services, and more. Our services are flexible, convenient, and it’s easy to get started; in most cases we can be up and running in just two days.
Our companions are responsive and responsible, and we have always placed the utmost emphasis on protecting our clients’ health and safety — including practicing proper handwashing and having back-up caregivers ready to step in, in case a companion displays any signs of an illness.
During these unpredictable days, we’re here to offer guidance and provide support, in whatever way we can. Get in touch online using our handy contact form, or give us a call at 866-910-9020 today.