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‘Pill box’ style meal organiser created to help elderly

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A tongue-in-cheek device has been developed to underscore the serious issue of the pressures faced by carers when caring for a loved one.

This follows research involving 500 unpaid carers, which revealed that 53% are concerned their elderly relatives forget to eat their meals when they’re alone.

The device, created by meal delivery company Wisely Well, measures 35 x 82 centimetres and assists carers in ensuring their family members are eating.

Like a traditional pill box, it features a compartment for each day of the week to fill with meals, as well as an extra for snacks and biscuits. It’s designed for easy use, either sitting on the worktop or fitting within kitchen cupboards.

Ian Morrison, from the brand, which aims to alleviate the burden on carers by delivering meals, said: “While we think this is a fun and perhaps silly idea, it’s actually highlighting a very serious matter.

“Being a carer can be incredibly difficult and have a major impact on how you live your life. Having to ensure someone you look after is looking after themselves in every way. The study has shown that many elderly people requiring care are missing meals on a frequent basis which can never be a good thing for anyone’s wellbeing.”

The research discovered that 72% of carers have elderly relatives who have forgotten to eat a meal, with 21% of those doing so regularly and 31% ‘sometimes’ missing one. It found that a n average of three meals are missed each week, with lunch being the most overlooked.

Understandly, 69% of those who have noticed a relative skipping a meal wished there was a way to help them remember to eat, according to a poll conducted via OnePoll.com. In addition, half of the respondents expressed concern that even when their relatives did eat, they worried they weren’t getting enough nutrition from the meals they consume.

Of those polled, 22% of those who cited their concern over nutrition is a primary worry, while other concerns included mobility, loneliness and memory capacity.

To help alleviate these worries, carers often turn to online resources, health professionals, local organisations and charities for support. However, 60% find it challenging to discuss health conditions with their relatives, and 43% believe their advice would not be heeded.

Being a carer impacts life substantially, with many reporting less personal time; the average unpaid carer sacrifices over 11 hours of their own time each week, with half also managing full-time jobs. This results in increased stress and fatigue, and 30% admitting it has had negative impacts on their mental or physical health. 

Speaking about their meal delivery service, Morrison commented: “The life of a carer can be stressful and hard work, which we know a lot of people can end up feeling guilty about. It can often be the case that looking after someone very quickly forms a part of your life when you least expect it, and you have to factor it in to how you live your own life.”

“However, we hope to provide one less thing to worry about by being able to deliver easy to prepare meals to those who need them.”



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