They are just a phone call away. A number of dial-up home delivery services are helping the elderly in the city to live independently. Anything Delivered (toll free no: 18001033467) is one of them. They are already active in Chennai and will launch soon in Tirupur too.

T. Sarojini, who is 62 years, calls Anything Delivered to pay her telephone bills. She uses the services to order food, and deliver her regular supply of blood pressure and diabetes medicines. “They also take tokens for doctor’s appointment which helps us save time at the clinic. They book train tickets. We don’t have to trouble our children or neighbours anymore,” says Sarojini, who lives near Ganapathy.

P. Narayanan also dials Anything Delivered for help, ranging from procuring medicines to fixing his appointments with cardiologists. “I message the names of medicines and they deliver them in 30 minutes. These services are a blessing to the older people. We don’t mind paying them extra as they save the trouble of going out in the sun, and standing in a long queue,” says the 64-year-old. A number of Pasumai Pharmacy outlets across the city also home-deliver medicines. In gated communities, autorickshaw drivers tie-up with senior citizens for pick up and drop at hospitals for their monthly check-ups.

Slowly, ordering food from outside is also becoming popular amongst the elderly. The newly opened outlet of Annapoorna (0422-4220128) on Nanjundapuram Road, offers free home delivery of lunch, breakfast and dinner in that area.

“Members of Walkers Association Clubs order from us regularly. They also have monthly get-together at our place where they enjoy the meals without any restrictions,” says Vivek Srinivasan, executive director. They focus on healthy fare such as appam, puttu, and wheat, raagi and cholam dosas. “The fenugreek dosa is particularly popular as it has health benefits,” he says.

R. Thanan, manager of the branch, says 60 per cent of the home delivery customers in Parsns and Mayflower apartments in Ramanathapuram are older couples. “Because of physical restrictions they can’t come out regularly for lunch. We deliver about 40 to 50 meals a day. They are health conscious and prefer North Indian meals that come with rotis, clear soup, salads, dhal, small portions of rice and butter millk,” he adds.

Nishanthan. R of Anything Delivered says sometimes they get calls from daughter-in-laws to deliver food for their ageing in-laws who might live in another part of the city. “We are also called to help them with small maintenance jobs and independent services such as changing light bulbs, replacing a tap washer, and doing small repairs. We are not geared up for this, but try and help them wherever we can. We regularly deposit cheques, and pay their LIC policies. For those who require medicines every month, we schedule a monthly alert in our database.”

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