Why should seniors consider a personal chef?
Many seniors struggle with nutrition, and a personal chef’s primary job is to ensure that their senior clients don’t. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, nearly 4 million suffer from malnutrition, and the consequences are potentially severe. If malnourished, seniors are more prone to illness, are slower to recover if they do get sick, and are more likely to suffer from complications during illness. Malnourished seniors may also lose weight and muscle mass quickly, resulting in frailty and loss of mobility.
Preventing malnutrition is a major reason to consider a personal chef, but there are other considerations as well. For example:
A personal chef saves a lot of time
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, American seniors spend about 43 minutes preparing meals every day, and this number is considerably higher for seniors who have mobility or sensory issues.
As people age, their ability to function in the kitchen may diminish, to the point where it’s difficult to prepare nutritious meals at all. A personal chef provides all meal planning and preparation services, so their senior clients can have much of their time back.
A personal chef also provides routine and conversation to seniors
Many seniors are isolated from family or friends, which means they aren’t getting the regular socializing that people need to remain mentally fit. Interacting with a personal chef, even for a couple hours a week, gives seniors much needed socializing time, and many look forward to the conversation almost as much as they look forward to the food.
A personal chef can make food fun again
It’s common for smell and taste to decline as people age, which can take much of the enjoyment out of food. This can, in turn, lead to poor food decisions, as it may be too difficult to prepare healthy meals that are also tasty.
A personal chef knows how to prepare food that offers both, so their clients not only eat better, they eat happier, and small comforts like this can be a big help.
Aren’t personal chefs only for wealthy people?
When people think of personal chefs, they think of the extremely wealthy, but that’s not the case for most seniors. Many personal chefs work with companies that help connect them to senior clients, so they aren’t like private chefs who only work with one or a few clients.
Personal chefs are more affordable because they are efficient with their time and have a plan in place, so they can help multiple seniors every day. That means you get the benefits of a private chef, like healthy, tasty meal prep, without the cost that’s normally associated with a private chef.
Also, some Medicare Advantage Plans and Long-Term Health Insurance plans may cover some of the services offered by a personal chef, reducing the cost further.
What does a personal chef do for their senior clients?
Personal chefs may offer one of multiple plans to their clients, including a fixed menu plan. On a fixed menu plan, seniors can expect the following:
- Menu planning
- Grocery shopping
- Cleanup after cooking is done
- Weekly visits from the chef, during which they will prepare 10-12 servings of meals. Seniors can pick from multiple meal options, which are rotated out on a weekly basis.
Meal preparation and cleanup takes about 2 hours. Once the chef is done, you’ll have a week’s worth of meals ready to go. Because a fixed plan is set in advance, it comes with a fixed price.
Some seniors need more from their personal chef, though, and many chefs are happy to provide additional services if they are required. For example, if there are more than two people living in the home, a personal chef can develop a menu for a larger home. Personal chefs can also help with dinner parties or holiday events, or just provide their meal preparation services more often, similar to a private chef. During the initial consultation, the chef and their client can discuss what exactly is needed.
Personal chefs can also create customized menus for clients with additional dietary concerns, and work with their client’s physician in doing so.
Can a personal chef help with special nutritional needs?
Maintaining health is an important part of senior nutrition, so personal chefs take their client’s nutritional needs into account when preparing meals. For instance, personal chefs can plan menus around the following dietary concerns:
- Diabetic friendly
- Low sodium
- Renal health
- Keto or Paleo
- Soft, easy to chew foods
Personal chefs can customize their menus further to account for additional dietary concerns. This is usually done during an initial, free consultation, so the chef knows what to plan before preparing a single meal.
A personal chef may sound like a luxury at first, but it’s affordable for most and offers invaluable benefits, including better health and more time. You’ll also have a steady supply of delicious food, ready every night, which anyone can appreciate.