In this section you will find information about shopping for food, preparing food, eating, maintaining a healthy weight and drinking enough fluids.
Shopping for food
If you can’t get to a shop you can shop online and get your shopping delivered from:
- Tesco www.tesco.com/groceries
- Sainsbury’s www.sainsburys.co.uk/groceries
- Morrisons https://groceries.morrisons.com
- Asda http://groceries.asda.com
- Iceland http://groceries.iceland.co.uk
- Waitrose www.waitrose.com
Many supermarkets also offer wheelchairs or scooters to use in store.
Some village shops also do a home delivery service. To find a store near you visit devon.cc/homedelivery.
There are shops across Devon selling food from Asia, India and European countries such as Poland. Search Google or Yell.com to see what is near to you.
Help to get to the shops
Many towns have local friends groups which offer people support with a range of tasks such as doing your shopping for you, or escorting you to and from the shops so that you can buy food. To find a group near you visit devon.cc/friendsgroups and choose your local area.
Transport to shops
If you live in an isolated area and struggle to use public transport you may be able to use community transport, such as Ring and Ride, to get to the shops. Visit www.traveldevon.info/accessibility/community-transport to find out what is available near you.
If you are unable to afford food and toiletries you may be able to get help from a local food bank. You can’t get food directly from a food bank; you will need to get a voucher from an outlet such as your GP, your district or town council offices or your local Citizen’s Advice Bureau. Find your local food bank and details of where to get vouchers at devon.cc/foodbanks.
Preparing and cooking
There are companies who can deliver frozen ready meals for you to heat in an oven or microwave, or can deliver meals hot to your door. To find a company visit devon.cc/fooddelivery.
There is a range of equipment which can make preparing food and drinks easier and safer. This can include devices for opening cans and bottles and equipment to help you safely make hot drinks. There are also bigger adaptations such as having kitchen work surfaces raised or lowered. To find out more about equipment and adaptations contact the Independent Living Centre.
There is a range of kitchen equipment designed for people with hearing or sight loss, such as bumpons to mark different pieces of equipment and fluid level sensors to help with measuring. You can find out more and try some of the equipment available at the Devon In Sight Resource Centre in Topsham. Phone 01392 876 666 email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.devoninsight.org.uk.
Lunch clubs give you the chance to go out and enjoy a hot meal with others. They usually meet in a hall or community centre and some offer transport to the venue. You will usually need to contact the club in advance to check prices and availability and book your place.
Visit devon.cc/lunchclubs to find a club in your area.
There is a huge range of equipment which can help you to eat and drink easily and safely. This can include specialist cutlery, plates and cups and protective clothing. Contact the Independent Living Centre.
The Devon Weight Management Service is a health service which aims to provide information and support to help people develop a healthier lifestyle. Visit devon.cc/healthyweight for more information.
The NHS Choices website has lots of information about safe ways to lose weight and develop healthier eating habits. Visit www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Loseweight/Pages/Loseweighthome.aspx to see the NHS 12 week weight loss plan, check the calorie content of 150,000 different foods and drinks and find healthy meal ideas.
Unexpected weight loss can be a sign of illness, find out more from NHS Choices at devon.cc/weightloss and raise any concerns with your GP.
You may have an eating disorder if you focus excessively on your weight and shape, which leads you to make unhealthy choices about food with damaging results to your health.Find out more about the signs and symptoms of an eating disorder and the types of help available at www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Eating-disorders
If you would like to take the first steps toward a healthier lifestyle and need a little support, try the OneSmallStep healthier lifestyle service.
Dehydration (not drinking enough fluids) can often affect older people as we are less aware of feeling thirsty as we get older. We can also become dehydrated because of a physical or mental illness or health condition or as the result of taking some medications.
You can get useful information about recognising, treating and preventing dehydration from NHS Choices at www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Dehydration/Pages/Introduction.aspx.
Planning and budgeting for meals can seem complicated and time-consuming, especially if it’s something you haven’t done before. There are lots of useful resources available to help you.
BBC Good Food has a seven-day guide for healthy family suppers. Visit devon.cc/goodfoodmealplan.
Love Food, Hate Waste has some two week meal planners and tips on avoiding waste. Visit devon.cc/lovefoodhatewaste.
Food writer Jack Monroe has tips on meal planning and budgeting and a huge range of cheap, healthy recipes. Visit: www.cookingonabootstrap.com/category/recipes-food.
Eating well with diabetes
If you have diabetes and are worried about eating a balanced diet which meets your needs get more information, meal plans and recipes from Diabetes UK at www.diabetes.org.uk/Guide-to-diabetes/Enjoy-food.