More options now available for home-delivered meals

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Council on Aging is now requiring all providers to offer therapeutic meals for clients with medical dietary needs. This is especially beneficial for people coming home from the hospital who may need special meals temporarily or permanently.

Therapeutic meals were once available only in a limited geographic area through one provider, but are now available throughout our five-county region.

A person may qualify for therapeutic meals if his or her physician orders them. Examples include meals for people with heart disease, diabetes or a need for pureed food.

In addition to therapeutic meals, providers must now offer hot meals as an option, or provide a driver who can heat a meal for a client who needs that service. A weekly delivery of chilled or frozen meals will continue to be the primary options for most people, but COA care managers will order daily delivery and/or hot meals if they believe a client needs a daily check-in.

COA added these requirements in the recent bidding process for providers seeking home-delivered meals contracts. In recent years, COA has also enhanced the meals program via customer satisfaction surveys. As a result of these surveys, some providers who did not offer enough choice in their meal selections have now increased their options.