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Elderly parents

Freezer 'ready meals' for coming out of hospital?

9 replies

MommyUpNorth · 22/09/2012 15:36

I'm not sure if I'm in the right area here, but tried searching in recipes/food for a similar thread and got lots of meal ideas...

MIL has fallen and broken her ankle this week and we think she'll be in hospital for a while. She lives alone and will be fairly housebound if she's in a wheelchair when she returns.

I told DH that I would really like to stock up her freezer with meals as I know she's not going to be able to stand for long to cook or prepare a meal. At the minute she doesn't eat very much and is more of a snacker, but that's just because she's said she can't be bothered cooking for 1!

Has anyone done this, and if I aim to put a meal into a microwaveable container so she just needs to pick one in the morning, defrost for tea and then microwave & eat does that sound ok? Can I put veg/rice/potato in with a meat portion & then put a time on the lid so she can just set the microwave & it's all sorted?

I was going to batch cook this week & do dinners (pies, fishcakes, mac cheese, quiches, etc), lunches (soups with homemade slices of bread with each portion, sandwiches?, lentil dishes?... struggling with lunchtime options)... and then some portioned snacks & puddings like rice pud, flapjacks, cookies, fruitcake...

I think she has muesli most mornings, so perhaps dh will stop in a couple times a week and set up portions of those in the fridge if they can be pre-prepared... and I think that will be her sorted at least for food!

We think she's going to be fairly week, and possibly not able to use crutches to get around so we'd like to set things up to be easier around the house for her and food will be my contribution so I'm just checking if anyone has done this before and if there is a nice easy system to making this run really smoothly!?


OP posts:
LadySybildeChocolate · 22/09/2012 15:43

Hi Smile

My sister does this for my mum. Cottage pie freezes really well, as does casseroles. I imagine it would be really difficult for your MIL to get the food out of the microwave and to somewhere she can eat it if she's in a wheelchair though. Would meals on wheels work until she's around? Takes all of the hassle out of cooking. Sounds like she could do with some sort of home help as well until she's up and around, she'll need help going to the loo etc. Have you tried social services?

MommyUpNorth · 22/09/2012 15:53

Thanks so much for that. I tried looking into the meals on wheels services up here (north Scotland) and the info is from 2003 and it would only be once a week. Friends have said that the service was cut, so maybe will look into it a bit more.

DH was going to put the microwave onto a lower table which the meal could just be taken out and eaten on. If we use disposable containers & cutlery then she wouldn't have any washing up either.

They mentioned in hospital about physio to get her to the 'able to cope' state before discharge, so we're kind of hoping that will include at least sponge baths, using the loo, getting into/out of bed, etc??

Ds is disabled and we know that social services doesn't move too quickly, so we're trying to work out what we'll need to have in place when she gets back home.

OP posts:
LadySybildeChocolate · 22/09/2012 16:07

Smile That sounds good.

You can do things like Jacket Potatoes, just grate a little cheese and put some salad in the fridge. My mother used a trolley type contraption which had a tray on the top, it was like a zimmer frame but wasn't (she's had a hip replacement and was on the list for a couple of years due to an accident). Quiche can also be frozen.

Jacket Potatoes
Fish and chips
Roast dinners
cottage pie
Cheese and potato bake
Spag boll (just mix it before you freeze it though, as the pasta will dry out).


Rice can be a bit iffy, you could get packets of microwave rice though and make a curry/chilli to go with it? Old people don't really have large appetites, so she could feel overwhelmed if you give her a large serving. It's easier if you cook the meals for you, but just make a spare which you freeze rather then cook in batches. It adds variety and you don't feel as if you're spending all of your time cooking.

MommyUpNorth · 22/09/2012 17:18

Thanks again!

Good tip about the rice. I have seen those packets in the shop, so great idea!

Sorry if my message was unclear, but I was going to do possibly 6-10 different meals and then put them into individual portion containers as I think she probably does have quite a small appetite & I didn't want her to have to re-heat too much and then it go to waste!

I'll do enough for 4-6 weeks to start off, and then we were going to make a proper Sunday lunch for her fresh every weekend... and then we'll re-assess if more things need making up during that time.

I'm trying to think of a good variety of yummy meals as I'm sure she'll be fed up of hospital food & I know I wouldn't want the same thing day in and day out.

I love cooking/baking, so none of this really seems like too much trouble yet!

OP posts:
thereinmadnesslies · 22/09/2012 17:36

A friend used Wiltshire Farm foods to deliver frozen meals to her elderly mum []. She really rated them, so it might be worth considering if you get fed up of cooking. Their website might give you some ideas of the sort of thing you can cook as well.

thereinmadnesslies · 22/09/2012 17:36
MommyUpNorth · 22/09/2012 17:47

I've put the website into my favourites in case it's needed... that looks really good, and you're right, it's great for meal ideas! Thank you!

OP posts:
twentyten · 24/09/2012 18:32

my mum tried wiltshire-great service but she prefers M&S who do some really good ones-their cootage pie is v good.

fledtoscotland · 25/09/2012 13:14

Your mum will be entitled to free meal prep at least twice a day for the first 28 days after discharge in Scotland. Carers will come in for 20mins and microwave food for her. The ward nurses will arrange this prior to discharge. PM me if you want more info but what your suggesting is great and then they can cook it and take it to her

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