If you’re elderly, suffering/recovering from an injury or illness, or all of the above, ensuring that you’re eating correctly can become difficult.
Many senior care services will offer some form of meal preparation service. If you are already benefiting from a care service, don’t be afraid to enquire about assistance with meal preparation. If you currently don’t receive help from a caregiver, and you’re finding eating well difficult, a quick internet search will bring up local care companies, who will most likely offer a meal prep service.
Most caregivers will work with your doctor or dietician whilst in the process of creating a care plan. This will help to take any allergies or dietary requirements into consideration, especially if any, requirements are due to an illness or condition. This will also ensure that your plan for meal preparation still provides adequate nutrition, as well as making sure that the plan isn’t repetitive. You can also choose to use your own recipes, request that your carer suggests meals, or a mix of the two.
Of course, everybody has different needs, and care companies will respect this. Regardless of which aspect of meal preparation you find difficult (it could be anything from suddenly having to adapt to a new diet due to an illness, to worrying about safety whilst using cooking appliances, to physical limitations that stop you from going to the kitchen when you wish to), they will be able to create a plan that fits your needs exactly. Even if it’s just the one meal a day that you feel like you struggle with (this could be due to tiredness, not being in the company of friends or family, etc.), don’t be afraid to enquire about help with meal preparation.
The main factor that will affect your meal plan is how confident and independent you feel in the kitchen, and your health. For example, you may be able to handle cooking appliances safely, but you are simply struggling to prepare the food in the first place. If this was the case, a caregiver could prepare a variety of meals at a time and freeze them for you. All you would have to do is select a meal and reheat it. If you feel less capable of handling food and kitchen appliances safely, your caregiver could perform the entire process.
Your caregiver will most likely be able to prepare snacks and beverages also. This is ideal if you are perhaps helped out by friends or family during the day, but find yourself hungry or thirsty on a night.
If you’re fine preparing meals, and you only find going to the shops for food a struggle, you may also benefit from a form of personal affairs service. Most care companies will offer this. Personal affairs is quite a broad term when it comes to care, and can include anything from food shopping, to making sure your bills are paid on time.
Whichever care company you find yourself receiving help with meal preparation from, they’ll likely be highly adaptable regarding the amount of time you need a meal preparation service for. Even if it’s just for a week whilst you recover from a stay in hospital, or for a longer period of time, they’ll be very happy to help, so don’t hesitate to enquire.