Meals for the Elderly

Care for Seniors
Care for Senior.org
a resource for family caregivers


This section of Care for Seniors provides education and insight on options for helping feed a loved one when a senior meal delivery service becomes a solution. These services could include:





Each of these options are available based on different circumstances of need by the family caregivers and the eligibility of the loved one.
Woman enjoying her meals for seniors
As for food preparation, since meals for seniors implies some support, receiving and reheating prepared meals should be convenient.

Deliveries should come in packages your loved one can carry to the kitchen and unpack.

Reheating would probably be best on a stove-top, oven, or microwave. Reheating instructions should be easy to read, and if the meals are frozen, there should be ample room in the freezer to accept a shipment.
Some seniors may have special nutritional requirements such as diabetic or low sodium meals. This is generally a service that will be only available from a meal delivery service. For example, Medicaid defines a healthy meal as one-third of the daily USDA guidelines.

A diabetic may not be able to have that many carbs, and a senior on a low sodium diet may not be able that much sodium. Most nutritional meal plans divide USDA guidelines by four, instead of three (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) to allow for snacks and drinks the person may have throughout a day.



Meals for the elderly refers to loved ones who require the most amount of home caregiver support and should be the most convenient to consume. Someone considered elderly is likely to be reliant on a family member or a home caregiver such as a home health aide, or in home visiting nurse. Again, a nutritional meal plan may be required to help maintain the health of the loved one. In addition to diabetic and low sodium meals, you may need prepared meals that are gluten free, or support renal and dialysis diets.
Senior Citizen using a gourmet meal delivery service.
In the case of senior meal deliveries, this term will most often apply to individuals to have meals delivered as a form of convenience or entertainment in the same manner one might go to a fine dining restaurant.

Cooking and reheating methods for a senior citizen can include from stove-top  cooking, sous-vide cooking, oven cooking, or reheating meals in a microwave.

Generally speaking, this is a term associated with gourmet dining and used less for necessity.


Meals for seniors does not have a specific age attached to it, but it does assume some need. Seniors can be in good to modest health and have need for some support. The amount of support can vary greatly being anyone who has some difficulty in getting around or caring for themselves, to someone slightly more reliant on help. Assistance can come from a senior companion, in home assisted living, or respite care.
Medicaid Meals and Elderly Meals on Wheels programs generally do not have such meals for the elderly, although Meals on Wheels can deliver one hot or cold meal that do not require any preparation.

Convenience should be the ultimate concern when setting up meal deliveries for the elderly. Someone may need to be available to accept elderly meal deliveries and help put away any inventory of meals.
Elderly woman having her meals on wheels dinner meals for the elderly
Reheating should be as convenient as possible, which normally means microwaveable, and reheating instructions should have large enough print to make it easy to read.

Elderly Meal Programs

Senior and elderly meal programs are available through:





With the exception of private meal delivery services, each of the other resources has qualification standards, which are determined by state and local governments, and specific insurance policy coverage. Please use the links above for the option that best suits your needs.
Caregiver Newsletter

Senior Meal Delivery

Meals for Senior Citizens

Meals for Seniors

Meals for the Elderly
We invite you to share your thoughts, comments, and questions on our blog. We are all stronger as a team, and our combined support in caring for our loved ones will make a big difference in our efforts!  Thank you.
-Becky Wood
To provide you with the best advice and direction, we will review the terminology generally associated with your needs for future Internet searches, and point you in the direction that is best for your situation. Please use the links above to learn more about each senior meal delivery option.
Senior citizen is a general term that refers to people over the age of 65. It is more likely to apply to retired individuals or couples that are in good health and self-sufficient.  The term is most often used for "Senior Citizen Discounts," and might not be the best choice of terminology for finding family caregiver support.
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This page was last updated: 10/27/2013