Comparing The Top Food Delivery Options For Seniors
As 10,000 people turn 65 every day in the US, it’s no surprise that food delivery services for seniors are in high demand. But with so many options out there, how can you find the right senior meal program for you or your loved ones?
Evaluating Food Delivery Options For Seniors
Local Meals on Wheels Programs
Perhaps the most well-known senior meal delivery service is Meals on Wheels, and for good reason as they provide an incredible benefit to many older adults in America. Meals on Wheels programs originated in the United Kingdom during WWII when many people lost their homes and were unable to cook their own meals. Meals on Wheels programs generally offer very affordable meals delivered right to your door.
- Meals for seniors are provided at no cost or at an affordable rate, as most are subsidized by private donors and the Older American’s Act.
- Meals are usually warm and ready to eat when they’re delivered
- A volunteer drops off the meal in-person every day or sometimes every week.
- There are Meals on Wheels programs for seniors in just about every community in the US (over 5000).
- For most Meals on Wheels programs, meals for seniors cannot be customized for specific dietary concerns and/or food preferences.
- Due to increased demand, many local Meals on Wheels programs have a long wait list for their services.
- Many Meals on Wheels programs require that you meet certain qualifications to participate, such as “homebound” status or income below a set threshold.
- Quality of the meals can sometimes be lacking, since the meals are mass produced in a factory setting or industrial commercial kitchen and must meet strict food cost budgets.
In recent years, delivery from local restaurant has been an increasingly popular food delivery service for seniors with the rise of companies like Grubhub, Eatstreet, DoorDash, and UberEats.
- With so many restaurants now offering food delivery for seniors (and folks of all ages), there are many options and styles of cuisine to choose from.
- Most meals delivered to seniors from local restaurants arrive quickly, often in 60 minutes or less
- Many restaurants have found ways to preserve the quality of their meals during the delivery process so you can still enjoy delicious meals in the comfort of your own home
- Once you factor in tip, tax, and other fees a meal delivered from a restaurant can easily cost $20-$30/meal. Services like Grubhub and UberEats charge additional delivery fees which can add up, especially if you’re ordering just a single meal.
- Unfortunately, while there are many choices out there for restaurant food delivery for seniors, there are NOT very many healthy options. Many restaurants that specialize in delivery offer tasty but unhealthy options like pizza, tacos, and fried foods.
- For some seniors, using tech-enabled delivery services like Grubhub can be a challenge, and some restaurants offering food delivery for seniors don’t give you the option to call and place an order anymore.
Frozen Meal Delivery Services
There are many types of food delivery services for seniors where food can be delivered right to your door once a week, biweekly, or monthly, typically in a large cooler with ice packs. MagicKitchen.com and Silver Cuisine by BistroMD are a few examples of these services.
- Convenience, you don’t have to leave your home to get your meals.
- Many of these meal delivery services for seniors can accommodate specific diets, such as low sodium, Kosher, or gluten-free.
- Ability to order online or over the phone and shipped to your residence no matter where you live, which can be an especially helpful option for seniors looking for meal delivery services in rural areas.
- Some meal delivery options for seniors like Blue Apron or Home Chef still require meal preparation at home, which can be physically challenging for some seniors.
- Meals must be stored for long periods, so they are made centrally and then frozen for shipping.
- Meal delivery companies typically cannot customize your meals based on your specific needs. What you see is what you get.
- Some frozen meal companies add a lot of preservatives like sodium to their meals to increase the shelf life.
- Generally, have to pay for shipping costs which can run up to $20/order.
- Some meal delivery options for seniors can be pretty expensive, with some charging $13+ per meal.
In-Home Personal Chef
A final type of meal program that more and more people are turning to instead of food delivery for seniors is an in-home personal chef, utilizing a company like Chefs For Seniors. Normally with this option, a chef does all of the grocery shopping, brings fresh ingredients with, cooks the meal and cleans up in the home. Many believe having a personal chef is reserved for professional athletes and celebrities, but nowadays that isn’t the case. Meals provided by a personal chef can be relatively affordable compared to other food delivery options for seniors.
- Taste preferences and diet needs can all be customized for each individual.
- There is instant feedback to the chef.
- Fresh, healthy ingredients ensure a higher level of nutrition.
- Ingredients are fresh and never frozen, adding to the flavor and quality.
- Companionship and a friendly visit – something to look forward to all week. For family caregivers, an in-home personal chef can also provide a valuable nutrition safety check.
- Chefs can offer feedback and updates on the client’s status to off-site family members.
- Personal chef services can be more expensive than other meal delivery options in some cases (typical cost per meal starts at around $12-$13/meal).
- Requires that you have a working kitchen for the chef to prepare meals in.
- Can be difficult to find personal chef services for seniors in every community, as it’s a relatively new industry.