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Health and Wellbeing
A Health and Well-being Wales Partner

Good nutrition is essential for your health; however, sometimes preparing a nutritious meal from scratch can seem like a lot of effort – especially when you are cooking for one.

There might be other reasons why you have stopped eating properly.

Perhaps you find it hard to stand for long periods without feeling dizzy, or maybe you are worried that you’ll forget to turn the gas ring off. Sometimes, older people just lose interest in food or forget to eat.

If you regularly miss meals or only eat processed snack foods, there is a very real risk that you will become malnourished and dehydrated in the long-term.

If you are unable to prepare and cook meals yourself – or need help to eat your meals – you may be able to receive help from social services. Tell your social worker if you think you need this kind of support.

If you are not currently receiving social care services, the first step is to have a needs assessment to find out what support you need.

Lunch clubs

Lunch clubs bring people together over a hot, nutritious meal. You do not usually need a referral from social services.

Meals on wheels

Meals on wheels - sometimes called ‘community meals’ – are usually only provided if you are unable to heat a meal yourself and have no-one else to do it for you, e.g. you live alone.

A hot lunchtime meal and pudding will be delivered to your home by regular drivers who will check that you are safe and well each time they visit (up to five days a week). If the drivers have any concerns about you, e.g. you do not answer the door when they knock, they will contact someone who will check and make sure you are alright, e.g. a family member or neighbour.

In this way, meals on wheels also help to prevent isolation and loneliness.

Meal prices vary depending on location and whether you want to include a dessert but range between £4–6 per day, no matter what your financial circumstances.

Frozen meals

If you are able to heat a frozen meal, or have someone to do it for you, you are unlikely to be eligible for meals on wheels.

In these circumstances, you might consider buying frozen meals from supermarkets, or a specialist frozen food supplier like Wiltshire Farm Foods or Oakhouse Foods who deliver to your home.

For a full list of meal delivery services in Wales click here.

Last updated: 06/04/2023