Meal preparation takes time, energy, and resources from anyone. If you feel overwhelmed in preparing your meals, the more it can be overwhelming to the elderly. For one, seniors now have decreased mobility and cannot move as freely as they used to. They now have health challenges, too, that discourage them from being in action in the kitchen. It is also highly inadvisable for them to chop, boil, bake, and carry equipment around the kitchen because of the dangers they pose.
When you think about it, even healthy adults get accidents in the kitchen. They get cuts, burns, and worse, slips and falls. If these accidents happen to adults, the risk is even greater among seniors. The elderly would need twice the amount of effort to walk to and from the kitchen, to wash dishes and utensils, prepare ingredients, do the cooking, and do the washing all over again. So, seniors are not advised to do tons of cooking, especially those already struggling with ill health.
Meal delivery and meal kit delivery companies (here’s a Terra’s Kitchen menu review) aim to target the elderly in their services, and so it is no surprise as to why market studies are being done on the subject. What exactly are the challenges that the elderly face in meal preparation, and what can be done to go past these hurdles? Here are some of the most common problems:
1. Having to cook for one
Having to cook for just one person is a major roadblock in meal preparation for the elderly. For one, do you think it is but wise to spend at least one hour a day to cut, slice, and grind ingredients for one dish? If the ingredients have already been prepared, and all the person has to do is to chuck them all in one pot, then prepping up would turn out to be so much easier.
It is best for someone to do the planning of meals to make dishes interesting. This person must know the elderly and should know his/her food preferences. By doing this, the repeat of dishes will be avoided. Thus, allowing the elderly to receive a diverse variety of nutrients, and a range of tastes available for every day.
2. The use of heavy and sharp equipment
The use of heavy, sharp, and complicated equipment and utensils is a big challenge for many seniors; thus, discouraging them from wanting to prepare meals. It is understandable though since the elderly have decreased mobility, limiting the activities that they can do. If they have to carry, use, and wash heavy equipment, then it will only shoo them away from cooking at home.
The solve this, the recommended meal plan should also put the utensils needed for the picture. The preparation of dishes should steer away from the use of complicated equipment. The simpler the utensils are, the better it is for the elderly.
The person or team curating a meal plan for the elderly should first know his/her food preferences, as well as his/her food allergies and health conditions. And then, easy-to-prepare and straightforward dishes can be included in the plan. Meal kit deliveries are a perfect fit for the elderly, as long as the preparation of dishes chosen does not require lots of time and equipment. What’s great with meal kit deliveries is the company already prepares all ingredients for you, and all you have to do is to cook the dish according to the recipe. For the elderly, cooking is also a great way for them to sharpen their memory.