A Watford councillor is urging “lonely” pensioners to use a Meals on Wheels service to ensure they eat properly.

Cllr Bilqees Mauthoor, who represents the Leggatts ward, recently met an elderly man outside his house while she was canvassing.

She was concerned to see that his lips looking dry and pale and his clothes were baggy.

He told her that he was very “sad and lonely” as his wife of 50 years had been admitted to hospital after a fall and she was expected to stay in hospital for weeks.

Cllr Mauthoor recommended he used the Hertfordshire Independent Living Service (HILS), which offers a Meals on Wheels service to deliver hot meals to his door every day to ensure he remains in good health.

She said: “He had a few medical conditions and struggled to do simple things like cooking his food. There were no other family members present or that he was in touch with.

“I am sure if we look around us and think about all the elderly people that live on our street who may be finding it difficult to cope with living, we could try and help.

“In Hertfordshire we are very lucky to still have a service called the Hertfordshire Independent Living Service that offers a Meals on Wheels service, as it helps people to stay happy, healthy and independent in their own homes.”

Sarah Wren, chief executive of HILS, added: “Meals on wheels are a lifeline for many older and vulnerable people who are often susceptible to malnutrition-related illnesses, social isolation, and loneliness. We have had fantastic support from the county council to ensure that the Hertfordshire meals on wheels service continues to thrive.

“By innovating around our meals service, we have helped to provide greater impact, supporting more than 13,000 people to stay independent in Hertfordshire last year. We have developed new services, such as pop in visits, and have expanded existing services, including offering more community alarms and telecare equipment.

“But perhaps most importantly, our caring team work incredibly hard 365 days a year to make sure that our clients feel genuinely cared for and part of our Hertfordshire community.”