Ordering Food or An Easier Lifestyle? By Kimberly Canfield

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It’s 2017, which means that there are smartphone applications for everything.  We also live in a society of immediate gratification, meaning we are used to getting everything in a split second.  The smartphone applications, OrderUp and Postmates, encompass both of those things and could easily create an easier lifestyle for not only seniors but their caregivers as well.

OrderUp and Postmates are both food delivery smartphone applications.  Depending on the location of the user, one application may be used precedent over the other, but the main idea of these applications is to be able to order whatever it is from where ever and have it delivered to your door within a matter of minutes.  These applications are both free to use and download and do not have any hidden fees or upgrades that the user would need to pay for.  The applications uses the users location in order to determine what restaurants or food services are around the area and then gives the user access to the full menu.  Once they have seen the menu, they are then able to pick and choose exactly what they want.  The apps also give the option to customize orders whether that be for personal preference or for dietary health reasons.

Once the food order has been placed, and the credit or debit card is entered and charged, the food is on its way to whatever address the user has entered.  These applications allow you to change the location of where the food is being delivered and allows there to be multiple card numbers in its system as well.  This then allows the user more freedom financially and geographically, not ever confining the user to one payment or area.  There is also a tracking device that both of the applications use, giving the user real life time updates and knowledge of where their food is and how soon it is going to be delivered.  Once the food is delivered, all the user has to do is open the door and then set the table.  There are no complications with tip or signed receipts since that is all taken care of with the payment done previously.  OrderUp and Postmates are making breakfast, lunch, and dinner all free of any hassles and are available at the touch of a button.

These food delivery service applications are not only helping millennial users but also have the ability to help seniors in their communities.  One of the biggest concerns for any senior is nutrition and diet (Amarantos, et al. 2001).  As people age, they are more likely to have heart disease, various cancers, diabetes, and many other common chronic diseases.  Seniors are also more commonly found to have high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and other things that may cause the senior to have to alter their lifestyle when it comes to food.   Good nutrition promotes healthy living which then gives the person a much better quality of life.  Food is also not only a physical necessity that humans need in order to survive, but it is also a sensory, psychological, and social aspect that sometimes isn’t as recognized with seniors (Armantos, et. al 2001).

Physically, a lot of seniors are not as capable as they once were.  This makes opening cabinets and jars more difficult, as well as reading recipes, and turning the oven on way more difficult than it had been previously in life.   It can even make getting out of their chair or bed a struggle if they are even more physically declined.  This can then turn the process of eating one that may be overlooked or not taken as seriously if the senior is not able to physically put the effort into making themselves food (Honn Qualls, 2016).  If there is inadequate food intake for weeks or months, it can have huge repercussions of negative aspects.  It can cause loss of mass and use in the muscles, functional impairment, and decreased high quality of life.  It can also case a loss in appetite leading to anorexia, which then can generate not only medical problems but psychological and social problems (Amarantos, et. al 2001).

Seniors with caregivers also face a challenge when it comes to food.  Many times, especially if the senior has a mental illness such as dementia or Alzheimer’s, food can become more than just a routine.  It can become very difficult to get the person to eat, they may not like what the caregiver is feeding them, or they might just be frustrated and not eat it.  There are so many negative impacts that stem from this on all accounts (Honn Qualls, 2016).  Caregiving is one of the most difficult jobs, especially if the caregiver is a family member to that senior.  It can cause so much tension not only within the relationship between the caregiver and the senior but also any extended family that is related to the both of them.

This is when OrderUp and Postmates come into play.  These two applications would be great use to both senior citizens and their caregivers.  These two applications would heavily influence the quality of life for the senior and the caregiver, and in the end make both of their lives easier.  These applications may also be of high help to caregivers, especially if their client has some type of dementia.  This application would allow fast and accurate delivery of a food that the senior picked out themselves.  This would also give the senior a sense of freedom since they are able to select the food themselves.

These applications are mainly used by millennials but would be of great value to the senior community.  These food delivery services are a relatively low price to pay for the overall contentment of a senior, their caregiver, and their family.  With such a user friendly design it would even be possible for the senior themselves to be taking care of their own food, which would then take a load off of the caregiver or families shoulders.  Most seniors may not have a smartphone, but they are most likely around someone who has one anyways, making it an easy option.  While there aren’t any obstacles other than the use of technology, the price of the food isn’t any different from what most middle tier restaurants cost.  While it may not be a complete switch off for normal groceries, it is an incredible option that is readily available to everyone.

These two applications have such a high potential to become more then just food delivery for seniors.  They give the seniors and caretakers one less thing to worry about, when it comes for providing for themselves or others.  The freedom of choosing what they want and where they want it, gives seniors the ability to feel more in control, which is a huge issue for a lot of seniors with caretakers.  It allows them to choose what they want even with dietary restrictions or special dietary needs.  Since nutrition and diet are such a huge part of daily life for seniors, these applications really allow the senior to improve upon food in a physical, social, and psychological manner.

 

References

Armarantos, E., Martinez, A., & Dwyer, J. (2001). Nutrition and Quality of Life in Older Adults . Journals of Gerontology,56(2). Retrieved April 24, 2017.

Hong Qualls, S. (2016). Caregiving Families Within the Long-Term Services and Support System for Older Adults. American Psychologist,71, 283-293. Retrieved April 24, 2017.

 

 

 

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