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I need help with cooking

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Do you need help with cooking meals?  View the questions below for advice.

I need help preparing my own meals, where can I find this?

If you are able to warm microwave style ready meals, there are various outlets for these; most food stores sell a variety of them or you can have them delivered to you at home.

I struggle with some food preparation tasks, is there any support?

If you wish to prepare your own foods but find that certain tasks are difficult such as standing to peel vegetables or opening tins, most mobility centres have aids and equipment (e.g. perching stools or electronic tin openers) for sale that can support you to make tasks easier.

I don’t feel safe doing the cooking, are there any aids?

If you believe there is a risk with you cooking a meal, you may find that there are many different aids and equipment available to support in this task. For example, if you are finding it difficult to lift a kettle, maybe a smaller / travel kettle or kettle tipper could help. If you are finding lifting hot saucepans too heavy, you may again benefit from looking at alternatives such as smaller pans, steamers or using other options such as microwave packets of vegetables.

All mobility centres can advise on suitable equipment for your needs. You can also buy some items from local retailers.

I have concerns about a family member/friend cooking safely, who can help me?

If you are concerned that someone, possibly with memory issues, may be putting themselves at risk cooking their meals, there are specially adapted hobs available from mobility centres. These hobs operate when only a particular saucepan is being used on them, otherwise, it will shut down regardless of whether or not the user has remembered to turn it off.

There are also aids that can beep or sound alarms if the pan seems to be boiling dry and needs attention. Again these are available from specialist mobility centres.

The Fire Brigade can be contacted to do a home safety check if you have concerns about the smoke alarm working properly/not being loud enough.

I am unable to prepare/cook a meal, is there any help?

If you are able to warm microwave style ready meals, there are various outlets for these; most food stores sell a variety of them, or you can have them delivered to you at home via a variety of catalogue suppliers, from which you can select which meals you would like to order.  

Alternatively, if you are aged over 65 years you might be eligible for Attendance Allowance.  If you are eligible, you could use some of this benefit to pay for somebody to come in and provide you with a meal service.

You may need an assessment of need from Education, Health and Social Care to assess if you are eligible for a care package that includes meal preparation as part of a bigger package.

I would like to have Meals on Wheels, are there any in my area?

There are several 'Meals on Wheels'  providers in Cornwall.

I struggle to swallow food, how can I find extra help?

Firstly it is very important that you ensure your GP is aware of any difficulties with eating or drinking as being dehydrated/hungry can cause adverse/damaging effects. You may find that talking to your GP will be helpful as they already know your medical history and will be able to suggest what route is best for you.

The National MS Society has a list of hints and tips to help those who have difficulty swallowing.

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