What does one do in such cases? “It’s out of the question for them to eat from a restaurant because of indigestion or the price factor and that’s where we step in,” he says.
Dr. Natarajan was a pioneer in bringing the concept of homemade food being delivered to geriatric people, under an initiative called Chennai Geriatric Catering Services. “I was a consultant on this project started two years ago by Vijayalakshmi Ulaganathan. It got great response when we launched, however, we faced a few issues with labour and upkeep,” says the doctor. This setback didn’t slow him down — after careful research and planning, he’s launching a similar concept as part of the VS Natarajan Geriatric Foundation, under the name Meals on Wheels.
“The elderly need protein-rich diets and must cut down on starch and root vegetables and replace rice with wheat and millets,” he explains.
“Reducing salt and making other such dietary changes can ensure cholesterol and diabetes are in check. Keeping such factors in mind, we prepare wholesome food that will be delivered at the customer’s doorstep,” he adds.
Dr. Nagarajan took the Meals on Wheels program to the Senior Citizen’s Council, Thenkasi, and right now, 120 people are being served with the help of a trust and team of volunteers. “I have eaten there and found the food to be healthy and delicious! I would like to approach the government to help me implement this concept on a larger scale like Amma Unavagam, which could benefit many elderly people,” he concludes.