hot meals for elderly providers

Hot meal delivery for the elderly: Top 6 UK services

5 min read |
Alistair Clay Author

Author 29.03.2023

Alistair Clay

Hot meal delivery for the elderly is a meals on wheels service that provides your loved one with high quality meals at home.

For elderly people struggling to prepare food or eat a healthy balanced diet on a regular basis, this is an essential service.

If you’re wondering who might benefit from a meal delivery service and what providers can offer, this article is for you.

We’ve found the top 6 providers of hot meal delivery services for the elderly. Let's take a closer look...

Here’s a summary of what we’ll cover:

  • People with a variety of needs can benefit from a meal delivery service that provides ready made meals at home.
  • A hot meal delivery service can help elderly people maintain a diet with the nutrition they need. 
  • As well as the classic meals on wheels, providers now offer reheatable and long life food for storing.
  • Hot meal delivery can be organised through your local council or as a private customer.
meal for elderly delivery

What is a hot meal delivery service?

Hot meal delivery for the elderly is what we know as meals on wheels service, where hot or reheatable meals are home-delivered. 

The service has somewhat modernised with companies offering innovative menus, eco-packaging and even long-life food. 

This variety of meals removes the need for shopping and food prep for elderly people who may struggle with these activities. 

It also encourages a nutritious diet and regular meals which carers can support them with during home care visits.

Are you worried about a loved one?

Early signs of dementia free guide

Hot meal delivery for the elderly: Top 6 UK services

We’ve put together a list of the best providers offering hot meal delivery for the elderly. 

Don’t forget that you can also buy ready meals, or have them delivered to you as part of your supermarket delivery shop. 

And don’t forget there’s lots of exciting new brands, like Charlie Bighams, offering top quality ready meals that are available in UK supermarkets.

Apetito delivery service


Apetito is a hot meal delivery service which supports those needing care with efficient service and nutritious meals. 

This service must be arranged through your local council, unlike other providers where you order from their website or by phone.

It’s one of the few services that deliver hot meals to your door and checks in on your loved one receiving the meals.

tiptree hot meal delivery

Tiptree Meals

Tiptree Meals are an Essex-based service that deliver hot meals to your door, as well as a selection of frozen meals that can be heated up later on.

With a varied menu that includes a midweek roast, Tiptree delivers 365 days a year ensuring that your food needs are catered for. 

Alongside their menu, Tiptree also offers catering for events, shopping support and even an ironing service.

Wiltshire Farm Foods delivery service

Wiltshire Farm Foods

Wiltshire Farm Foods deliver reheatable meals that put a spring in your step and a smile on your face. 

From soft food menus to special dietary requirements, their meals also come in three sizes, so you can be sure there’s no waste.

oakhouse foods hot meal delivery

Oakhouse Foods

As well as a delicious and varied menu, Oakhouse Foods provide a caring and personal service with every order.

Their heat at home ready meals are made to be cooked straight from frozen for no fuss preparation. 

This means that they are quick to reheat, don’t need to be defrosted, and don’t take up valuable fridge and freezer space.

Are you worried about a loved one?

Early signs of dementia free guide

Parsley box hot meal delivery

Parsley Box

Parsley Box offers long-life ready meals that can be stored in the cupboard, rather than chilled or frozen.

This means you can have all your favourite dishes ready to go in the store cupboard without taking up freezer space.

Once you’re ready to eat, simply pop it in the microwave or oven and enjoy restaurant ready flavours in the comfort of your own home.

COOK meal delivery service


COOK offers delicious frozen ready meals plus a home delivery service to get them direct to your door. 

Their varied menu caters to customers with specific dietary requirements and portion sizes while maximising nutritious value. 

This service doesn’t cater specifically for elderly people, so isn’t part of any council scheme and may be more expensive.

What ways can a hot meal delivery service be beneficial for the elderly?

Many elderly people find a hot meal delivery service useful and for a wide variety of reasons.

It could be that cooking is no longer a hobby, or isn’t as easy as it once was due to memory or mobility issues.  

Plus, washing up might become more of a chore than before, and similarly shopping is harder to manage. 

Let’s see how hot meal delivery for the elderly can benefit people with certain health conditions or help maintain good general health. 

when should someone with dementia go into a care home

Healthy weight

Maintaining a healthy weight in older age can have a positive effect on general health and reduce your risk of complications. 

A meal delivery service may help to ensure a balanced diet, plus regular meals, to keep weight at a healthy level.


Being overweight at any age can lead to risk of diabetes, arthritis, heart disease and stroke, plus vitamin deficiencies and poor immunity. 

It can also lead to mobility issues, joint pain and a more sedentary lifestyle which leads to additional care needs. 

A hot meal delivery service can help provide a nutritious diet for overweight people, helping them eat healthily and manage their weight. 

Being overweight can be a risk factor for diabetes, learn here about what causes diabetes for more information.

Hot meal delivery for the elderly Top 6 UK services


Being underweight means that a person isn’t eating enough to stay healthy and is at risk of malnourishment. 

Underweight people might find themselves feeling cold all the time or lacking motivation and energy to move. 

They may also be at a higher risk of fall and serious injuries as a result, due to weaker bones which break easily. 

See our guide on how to prevent falls in elderly loved ones for more information.

elderly people using a hot meal delivery service

Fluid consumption

Older people have lower fluid levels in their bodies meaning they can become dehydrated more easily. 

Their thirst response is also diminished, so they end up drinking less which causes fluid levels to decline.

Hydrating food and drink like meals containing fruit, vegetables and liquids like gravy, can help keep fluid levels balanced. 

Find out more about this topic in our article that covers recovery from dehydration in elderly and more.

mobility issues and hot food delivery elderly

Mobility issues

People who experience mobility issues may find shopping in the supermarket difficult or even impossible.

Cooking itself may also prove a challenge with heavy pans or long periods of standing.  

Hot meal delivery allows people with mobility issues to eat healthy meals without the pressure of food shopping and preparation. 

Check out our article on what causes mobility issues in elderly for more information.

hot meal delivery for elderly living alone

Living alone

Sadly, an older person might find themselves living alone after a bereavement which can change mealtimes. 

Instead of cooking for two, meals for one can seem lonely or pointless and end up creating  food waste. 

A meal service can support people after bereavement who may be struggling to cope with loneliness.

Healthy and tasty meals can help you get back on track and look after your brain and body as you adjust to new circumstances. 

hot meal home delivery for elderly


People living with dementia may struggle to remember a meal plan or go shopping due to cognitive decline. 

Alternatively, they may be buying incorrect quantities of food, or throwing it away without using it. 

As the condition progresses, cooking can become difficult or even dangerous, with the potential for forgetting something is cooking. 

Although this can be managed with home help and dementia care, a meals on wheels service is a great alternative. 

Are you worried about a loved one?

Early signs of dementia free guide


Arthritis can make cooking difficult or impossible as it causes pain in joints we use every day. 

Standing still whilst cooking or the movements required to grip or manoeuvre cooking utensils can be uncomfortable. 

Carers can support people with arthritis, encouraging the right foods such as in this rheumatoid arthritis diet

For people with arthritis affecting their hands, check out cutlery for arthritis to make mealtimes easier. 


cost of hot meal delivery

How much does hot meal delivery for the elderly cost?

The cost of hot meal delivery for the elderly can vary depending on the size and quantity of meals ordered. 

While most of the top 5 UK services pass costs onto the client, there may be some subsidies provided by the local council. 

Some people are eligible for local council meals on wheels services, which come at a reduced price. 

Who qualifies for hot meal delivery for elderly?

To qualify for hot meal delivery through your local council you must meet some criteria. 

This is to help the people who need it most get the right support at an affordable price. 

Even if you don’t qualify through the council, you can get hot meal delivery as a regular customer, but it may be more expensive.

Need an extra hand with your loved one’s care

Need an extra hand with your loved one’s care?

You may not be able to do everything your loved one needs, but it doesn’t mean you can’t ask for a bit of extra help. 

Finding care through trusted providers can be done on the Sweet Pea app, so you have everything in one place. 

Simply enter their care needs, from home help to full time support to get your loved one top quality care when they need it.

Alistair Clay Author

Author 29.03.2023

Alistair Clay

Alistair is a founding Director of Sweet Pea Care and the Managing Director of social care communications agency Arc Seven where he advises some of the UK’s biggest care providers.