Qualitative study on home delivery meal services for the elderly

Sunhee Seo, Eunju Yu, Og Yeon Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


As the importance of elderly's dietary life have increased, low-income elderly's meal should be taken care by social policies. Nevertheless, there is a lack of systematic management in home-delivery meal service. This study aims to investigate the elderly's experience on home-delivered meal service, especially identifying the symbolic meaning of home-delivered meal service on elderly's dietary life. Using an in-depth interview, qualitative data was collected from fve elderly participants who received home-delivered meals. Data was analyzed based on Colaizzi's 6 steps method, deriving 148 signifcant statements, 18 formulated meanings, and 5 themes: <decent meals >, <meals for survival >, <less considerate meal >,<loss of eating need >, and <meals of silence >. Elderly participants regarded the home delivered meal as not only a decent meal but also felt appreciated. The home-delivered meals were found to be their only meal all day; thus, they considered these meals as a means of survival. Home-delivered meals are considered as a lack of consideration for the elderly's physical condition, including their tastes, portion size, and cooking method. Also, these elderly seemed to lose their appetite due to aging and it caused the enjoyment of eating. The elderly have kept silence never expressing any opinions regarding the home delivered meals because they were offered for free. The results suggested that the home-delivered meal service should be developed with the multilateral evaluation methods to refect the elderly's needs to improve the quality of the home-delivered meal service.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)589-596
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nutrition and Health
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2013


  • Home delivery meal service
  • Low-income elderly
  • Meals for survival
  • Qualitative approach


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