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Meals on Wheels in Ireland Essay Sample 

The following essay sample shall focus on the program of meals on wheels in Ireland, its a place of organization or history, the meals on wheels network in Ireland, and the cost of meals on wheels in Ireland.

Meals on wheels is a program that is meant for those who cannot afford to buy their food or are incapable to prepare their meals. So, the meals are prepared to be delivered to the people who need this service.

Most older adults are the recipients of this service as they are housebound. It is delivered to them with the help of abled old volunteers who can drive cars or any other automobiles.

Meals on Wheels in Ireland Essay Sample

This meal-delivery program has benefitted mostly the elderly to meet their nutritional needs through a quality diet.

It has also reduced the risk of food insecurity and risk of falling sick easily which helps the government to reduce its expenditure on other health care programs, hospitals, and care services.

The concept of meals on wheels was first introduced in the UK during the Blitz when many people lost their homes. Then the Women Volunteer Service for Civil Defence started their delivery of food to the people at that time.

It evolved into the modern concept of meals on wheels which are delivered to the older adults free of cost at a minimal charge.

History of Meals on Wheels in Ireland 

After the second world war, meals on wheels were made available to the people who lost their homes during the war.

This program was initially introduced in England where the majority of the local authorities delivered frozen pre-cooked meals which could be reheated before consumption.

The meals on wheels concept got spread to other countries like Australia, Canada, the United States, and Ireland.

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In the year 1971, the first meals were delivered in Longford which is a small countryside village in the Midlands in Ireland. The county Longford Social Services delivered and distributed the meals to the people with the help of a mobile kitchen.

Mobile kitchens were raised by some local children of the community who raised funds from the nearby local community in the town.

The first meals were delivered by the volunteer driver called Late Pat Hourican along with another help assistant. These mobile kitchens were made by a local businessman, Noel Hanlon in an ambulance van.

These vans were turned into small mobile kitchens which had all the basic facilities available inside like fitted gas cookers, utensils, food reheating gas, and other kitchen items.

The meals were delivered to around 400 people who were either disabled or people belonging to the old age group.

Presently, these vans are still in use to deliver meals around Longford with the help of a charity program. The meals served are mostly hot soup, main course meals, and dessert.

The main recipients of the meals have microwave ovens to reheat their dinner meals before eating and it is being served seven days a week.

Meals on Wheels Network in Ireland 

The National Meals on Wheels Network was first established under the Irish Rural Link in the year 2015 with the support of Minister Ann Phelan in Buswell’s Hotel.

It has the aim to provide high-value nutritional meals to the locals and the community with the help of professionals. It helps in maintaining sound physical health, achieving a sense of independence, and a strong quality of life.

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The meals on wheels network provide care services to the elderly so that they can continue living in the community after they return to their homes from hospitalization and medical treatment.

Following are some of the main objectives or aims of the meals on wheels network and they are:-

  • It provides a nationally standardized meal system to the needy people which provides a strong system to all the organizations so that they can adhere to it.
  • The network system provides an adequate amount of resources so that there can be the timely delivery of nutritious meals to the elderly.
  • Advices the other government agencies who are responsible for the delivery of meals and any ancillary services.
  • It helps in developing the organizations in such a manner so that all-inclusive and participatory meals can be provided on the wheels through these organizations.
  • Meeting the future demands of the members of the network system by assisting them in the development of their services.
  • Developing voluntary professional meals on service at a high standard so that it can be recognized through quality national rating.

If there are no meal-providing services then the elderly will suffer increasing their stays at the hospital. It will lead to a high mortality rate, an increase in the use of medicine and nursing care, an increase in the falling incidence, extreme loneliness, and anxiety leading to poor quality of life.

Cost of Meals on Wheels in Ireland 

An average cost of a daily meal on wheels in Ireland includes a main course, dessert, and even a soup which is served for a minimum of five days and a maximum of seven days a week. It can cost €4 per meal on average daily and €20 almost for the complete week.

A variety of hot lunch meals are being served to the elderly which also have a high value of nutrients and are delivered during the early noon from 11.00 to 13.00 each day.

The meals are to be booked in advance so that any change in the menu can be made. It can also be provided on weekends if the food can be refrigerated immediately or consumed immediately after the delivery.

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The above essay explains the social program of care service of providing free meals on wheels to the elderly in Ireland.

Nutrition and Health QQI Level 6, Nutrition, Health and Wellbeing Course QQI Level 5, Care of the Older Person QQI Level 5, Careskills and Care of the Older Person QQI Level 5, Healthcare Support QQI Level 5, Nursing Studies QQIstudents can read this sample to gain professional knowledge on nutrition and social healthcare services for the elderly.

We have many care skills, nutrition and care of the older person assignments on our Irish website. Some of them are Health Promotion Nutrition and Exercise, Food Regulations in Ireland, Feeding and drinking assistance in the old age group, Food safety management and Care of the Older Person.

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