Meals at Your Service by Samantha Gould

Image result for old people getting food delivery

Uber Eats and Order Up are meal ordering and delivery companies. They can both be used online or through their respective apps, which can be downloaded for free on iPhones and Androids. Uber Eats and Order Up are quick, easy and efficient method of meal delivery that can be helpful to people of all ages, including younger and older people. When the Order Up app is first entered, it asks for the user’s location. Next, nearby restaurant appear, along with how much it will cost to get the food delivered and the minimum amount that needs to be spent at each restaurant to be able to get it delivered. Once the user has selected the restaurant and meal they would like to order, the user can select to checkout as a guest or to sign up/log in with your Order Up account. After the user has the checkout option, they enter their contact information, payment information, tip amount and special instructions for the delivery driver, such as “extra napkins” or “no ketchup”. After all of these steps are completed, it is now time to sit back and wait for the meal to be delivered. To get started with Uber Eats, the user must allow the app to access their location, the app cannot be used without access to location services. This may be a safety and privacy concern for some users. To log in, the user must either have an Uber account or an Uber Eats account, they cannot check out as a guest like they could have done on Order Up. After the user has logged in, they must enter their address. The main drawback about Uber Eats is that it is not available in every city, there is a list of cities that Uber Eats is available in. Before the order is placed, Uber Eats informs the user of the estimated wait time. In comparison to Order Up, Uber Eats has an extensive list of search categories. Uber Eats saves the payment info entered to be used on future purchases. Just like Order Up, after placing the order, all there is to do is sit back, relax and wait for the delivery.

The purpose of this study “was to determine the independent effects of specific medical conditions on seven functional activities” (Guccione et al.,1994). Ten medical conditions were highlighted in regards to their effect on functional limitations in older adults, including “knee osteoarthritis, hip fracture, diabetes, stroke, heart disease, congestive heart failure, intermittent claudication, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, depressive symptomatology, and cognitive impairment” (Guccione et al., 1994). There is a positive correlation between “the number of coexistent conditions among elders” and “an increase in limitations in activities of daily living” This study consisted of 1060 women and 709 men, with the average age being 73.7 years old (Guccione et al., 1994). The participants were the Framinghman Study Cohort. The participants had been tracked for the last 40 years, with examinations every 2 years, making this a longitudinal study (Guccione et al., 1994). Participants “were scored as independent, dependent on an assistive device, dependent on human assistance, or unable to do” the activities. They were also “recorded as able or unable to do without help” (Guccione et al., 1994). The dependent variable of this study was “the need for human assistance as the criterion of functional limitation for each of the seven dependent variables” (Guccione et al., 1994). After comparing medical conditions and functional limitations, the findings from this study “indicate that these 10 medical conditions impose functional limitations on the elderly that are specific to each disease and to each activity” (Guccione et al., 1994). “Knee osteoarthritis, heart disease, depressive symptomatology, and stroke” had the biggest effect on functional limitations in older adults (Guccione et al., 1994). The findings also highlight “the contributions of psychological factors to physical functional limitations in the elderly” Of the 10 medical conditions, “knee osteoarthritis [was] the most prevalent and hip fracture and congestive heart failure [was] the least prevalent of these diseases” (Guccione et al., 1994).

The purpose of this study was “to determine the effects of chronic pain on the development of disability and decline in physical performance over time in older adults” (Eggermont et al., 2014). This “study aimed to prospectively examine the association between multiple domains of chronic pain and subsequent self-reported and observed disability in a population-based cohort of older adults” (Eggermont et al., 2014). The participants of this study were 634 older adults, 64% female and 36% male, who were 65 years or older (Eggermont et al., 2014). The average age of the participants was 78 years old. To “determine the effects of chronic pain” in relation to a “decline in physical performance”, participants were observed at their initial visit as well as 18 months later at a follow up visit (Eggermont et al., 2014). This is an example of a longitudinal study, which uses “global pain assessments, have recently found associations between chronic pain and subsequent greater risk of mobility decline and disability in selected groups of elderly adults” (Eggermont et al., 2014). At the baseline visit, participants “were screened for moderate to severe cognitive impairment based on a score of 17 or lower on the Mini-Mental State Examination” (Eggermont et al., 2014). The participants were either scored as having “no pain, single-site pain, multisite pain…and widespread pain” (Eggermont et al., 2014). At a follow up visit 18 months later, the assessments were repeated. The participants also “rated their pain in the past week according to its worst, at its least, on average, and now” (Eggermont et al., 2014). The results of this study show that multisite pain, regardless of specific sites involved, was highly prevalent and consistently associated with decline in function across domains (Eggermont et al., 2014). Participants who experienced “multisite pain had three times the risk of onset of self-reported mobility difficulty”, which “was also related to greater risk of disability” (Eggermont et al., 2014).

Order Up and Uber Eats could be limiting to seniors because they may have difficulties learning how to use it. Only eighteen percent of older adults “would feel comfortable learning to use a new technology device such as a smartphone or tablet on their own”. Older adults “indicate they would need someone to help walk them through the process” (Smith, 2014). Since these apps are on smartphones and tablets, it is highly likely that seniors will have a hard time navigating the apps without the help of someone else who already understands how to use them. Once older adults learn how to use these apps and feel comfortable doing so alone, they will see the many benefits of these apps. Many older adults suffer from “severe functional limitations in even the most basic activities of daily living”. These daily tasks become difficult due to changes in mobility, such as changes in muscle, balance, bones and joints. Many older adults show “increased odds of dependence” in carrying bundles, grocery shopping, “performing heavy home chores”, stair climbing, and this study also found strong “associations between a medical condition and a functional limitation in cooking” (Guccione et al., 1994). Uber Eats and Order Up should be of interest to seniors because it will help in eliminating the need to go to the grocery store as frequently as they usually do to get food to prepare meals, as they can now order food and have it delivered to their door with these apps. Grocery shopping includes walking around the grocery store for extended periods of time. If there are stairs into an older person’s home, they may have trouble walking up and down them, let alone walking up and down them carrying their groceries, which likely weigh more than 10 pounds.  Both of these apps will help solve the issue of transportation to the grocery store, mobility impairments and functional limitations that make it difficult for some seniors to get around the grocery store and will not require seniors to cook their meals for one meal, or for as many meals as they decide to order.


Eggermont, L. P., Levielle, S.G., Shi, L., Kiely, D.K., Shmerling, R.H., Jones, R.N., & Bean, J.F. (2014). Pain characteristics associated with the onset of disability in older adults: the maintenance of balance, independent living, intellect, and zest in the elderly Boston study. Journal of The American Geriatrics Society, 62(6), 1007-1016. doi: 10.1111/jgs.12848

Guccione, A., Felson, D., Anderson, J., Anthony, J., Zhang, Y., Wilson, P., & Kannel, W. (1994). The effects of specific medical conditions on the functional limitations of elders in the Framingham -study. American Journal of Public Health, 84(3), 351-358. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.84.3.351

Smith, A. (2014). Older adults and technology use. Retrieved from


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