Nutrition Program at North Shore Elder Services

Nutrition and getting the proper vitamins, fats, carbohydrates, and proteins is key to sustaining life, especially for elderly individuals. North Shore Elder Services is instrumental in assuring that elders living in our communities have access to the nutrition they need.

The Meals on Wheels program can be the difference between remaining in one’s own home and needing to relocate. North Shore Elder Services (NSES) wants to give seniors greater quality of life and providing nutritious meals is one way we can.

This is more than a meal. Many standards and state regulations are followed to meet the nutritional guidelines for each meal. There can be many reasons why seniors do not have the most nutrient dense meals.  Home delivered meals offer a guarantee of one nutritiously balanced meal a day.

There is also the important connection between the person delivering the meal and the recipient. For some seniors who can be isolated, this may be the only person they see or speak with in a day. It also serves as a wellness or safety check.  The deliverer can be the first to notice an emergency or problems.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What nutrition services are available through NSES?

Congregate meals are offered at the following Council on Aging sites; Danvers, Marblehead, Middleton and Salem. A hot meal is available for a nominal fee. There are also dining options available at our Supportive Living sites. It gives people an opportunity to socialize outside of their home with others. Click here to view our monthly menu https://nselder.org/congregate-meals-menu/

For those consumers who are unable to leave their homes there is the choice of home delivered meals. Menus are prepared in consultation with our Nutritionist who is also available for individual nutrition counseling. Click here to view our monthly home delivered meals menu https://nselder.org/home-delivered-meals-menu/

What are the eligibility guidelines to receiving Home Delivered Meals?

An individual must be at least 60 years of age and homebound. There can be exceptions to the age criteria. Our Information Services department will be happy to discuss further.

How do I get Home Delivered Meals?

Anyone interested can call Information Services to inquire about eligibility.   An at home assessment will be necessary before meals can begin. In some cases (like a recent hospital or skilled nursing facility discharge) meals may start before the assessment.

What kinds of meals are available? Can you accommodate someone on a special diet and is a note from a Primary Care Physician necessary?

Our regular meals are consistent with a No Added Salt Diet. We also offer modified meals (no concentrated sweets), cardiac meals (lowered sodium), low lactose meals, ground meals, pureed meals, and kosher meals. Any of the specialty meals require a doctor’s order.

Can the nutrition program accommodate a food allergy?

All of our meals are nut free, and we offer a low lactose meal for people who are lactose intolerant. We do not currently offer gluten free, or other allergen free options.

What benefit is there to receiving Home Delivered Meals?

HDMs are not just a meal. Our drivers are sometimes the only socialization our consumers have on a daily basis. They offer a friendly smile and keep homebound consumers from being isolated. We also do a daily wellness check on our consumers, and if they are not home or not answering their door, we call their emergency contact person to make sure everything is okay.

Can I chose which days I want to receive HDMs? Is there a minimum number of days I need to order meals?

Yes, we can customize meal schedules. One meal per week is the minimum for delivery. We do not deliver on weekends or holidays.

How and when is my meal delivered?

Meals generally have a hot entrée portion, which contains the protein, starch and vegetable. This portion is delivered hot in a separate container from the rest of the meal. Meals also generally have cold portion, which is packaged separately and delivered cold. This portion of the meal generally contains bread, milk, and dessert. Most meals are delivered between 10am and noon – depending on the site and what time the food arrives from the catering company.

What happens in the event of my meal not being delivered due to weather etc.?

Existing consumers and all of our new consumers are offered a shelf stable meal that they can keep in their cupboard and use in the event of an “emergency” when we would not deliver a meal. These meals are replenished as soon as possible after a cancellation. We also send out flyers to our consumers in November reminding them to have additional shelf stable foods on hand in case of an emergency.

If I have an appointment and cannot be home for the delivery time, what should I do?

Call our office at 978-624-2263 to let us know and we will not order a meal for you, or attempt to deliver on the day you will not be at home.

How can I become a Home Delivered Meals driver?

Apply online at https://nselder.org/get-involved/employment-opportunities/

Author Info

Jayne Girodat

Jayne Girodat is the Communications Specialist at North Shore Elder Services. Along with ten years in the position of Caregiver Support Specialist at another ASAP, Jayne was a long-distance caregiver to parents for the same amount of time. That experience serves as motivation to better understand the issues of aging and to engage people in conversations about those issues. Jayne's background in teaching contributes to her appreciation of social media as a tool to educate readers on aging concerns. "I love asking people questions. Everyone likes to be heard. When you ask and then listen, you'll find everyone has a story and some of those stories are gems. I think it is particularly important to hear the voices of our older adults. Those are the stories I really connect to and hope to bring to North Shore Elder Services' audience."

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