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My father has limited sight and is recovering from a mild stroke. After a two month respite stay, he will be returning alone to his condo. I visit twice a week from out of town, but have to leave each day before 3 p.m. to avoid rush hour traffic back into my big city where I live. We want to find a solution to his previously poor eating habits. I don't want him to cook anything anymore. He likes his "big" meal to be at 4:30 or 5 p.m. He tried Meals on Wheels once and hated it, not even mentioning that they deliver at noon. Dad does not want his big, hot meal at noon! I have looked up other meal delivery services, but everything is frozen and I need it heated for him. The other drawback of these services is, frankly, the options appear dismal. I hope I am not offending anyone who works for these services, but they have to know this - I find photos on their websites of the food options (which notoriously should be better than they actually are!) are incredibly unappealing to me and I am not even expected to eat them! I can't imagine making my father eat them. I don't enjoy cooking, myself, and when I do cook for my family, they are meals that my father would not be interested in - we eat a lot of vegetarian and pasta which my dad wouldn't like, so taking leftovers to him is not an option. I therefore need to find a company that will prepare and deliver, at 4:30, tasty, nutritious hot foods with a side salad instead of the sad frozen veggies that usually accompany delivered meals. I am tearing my hair out trying to find something. Anyone else frustrated with meal options out there?

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Most pizza restaurants deliver and offer a full menu to choose from. One dinner probably wouldn't meet their minimum, but they might waive that for a daily order. Either that or they could deliver two meals at a time.

Does your dad have a retired lady in his building who might like to earn extra money by cooking for him?

It occurs to me that if dad can't heat up a prepared meal and he's partially blind that assisted living is a better option for him. He must be terribly lonely.
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Find a helper who can cook. We just hired a helper with cooking skills for an elderly gentleman who did not like to cook for himself. She works about 15 hrs./week. Does grocery shopping and cooking.
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I agree. If money is no issue, contact a local restaurant and have them deliver everyday when he wants it. I would imagine that would be expensive. But so would paying someone to come in and prepare the meal in the home.

With limited vision and mobility, I would be seriously concerned with him living alone. Why not see if he is open to assisted living. They can provide very good and nutritious meals and have the social interaction of having the meals with his peers.

I wish you both the best.
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I understand your frustration, but I hate to be blunt here but it sounds like Dad is a bit spoiled or greatly misses his wife's cooking, etc. He needs to be more flexible with what is available for him to eat.... like having that big meal at noon via Meals On Wheels [remember these are volunteers giving up their time to deliver meals]... or at least trying your vegetarian and pasta left overs [sounds good to me].

Otherwise you will be cooking two meals, one full meal for your Dad, then racing home in rush hour traffic to cook yet another meal for your family. That could go on for 5 to 10 years, are you ready for that?

Or as Jeanne mentioned above, Dad could now need another level of care, like assisted living. It would be great if he could be with fellows of his own generation, where they all go to the dining room together.
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Why did your father return to his home? With limited sight and an inability to cook safely, wouldn't he be better off in some level of a care facility, where hot meals are provided 3 times a day, plus snacks? And he'd have the opportunity to interact with others his age and who also have some limitations?

But, he is home for now, and you need to figure out meals. My mother loved the Meals on Wheels program, which was a great help to us children who were trying to keep her in her apartment. She did not use the stove but she could safely use the microwave to reheat things when she wanted them. (She is thriving now in a nursing home.)

A nutritious meal does not have to be hot. A cold roast beef sandwich with a salad is perfectly fine. But if he wants a hot meal at least once a day (I would!) and the programs you've looked into are not suitable, I see three options.

1. Contract with a local restaurant to deliver a hot meal at a specified time each day.
2. Hire a housekeeper/cook for a few hours every afternoon, to prepare his evening meal and do light cleaning.
3. Find a suitable residential place that provides all meals throughout the day -- perhaps assisted living if that is the right level of care.

Good luck to you! Please keep us updated on what you try and what works out. You are not the only person with a parent in this situation, and we learn from each other.
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