For older adults, Thanksgiving can stir a wide range of emotions. The joy of spending time with extended family and friends can sometimes be overshadowed by the loss of loved ones and a lifestyle that’s become increasingly isolated over the years. On top of that, seniors may have dietary concerns and restrictions that make it more difficult to fully indulge in and feel a part of the traditional holiday feast.
To help your senior loved ones embrace and enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday without compromising their health, try these tips:
- Stay in good company. If family and friends live at a distance, explore the offerings of local senior centers, which often provide holiday meals in a fun and festive setting for seniors who would otherwise be alone. Volunteering to assist in preparing or serving the meal, decorating, or arranging for group activities can also help boost your senior loved one’s sense of self-worth.
- Don’t overindulge. Sticking to the doctor’s prescribed dietary plan is important, including during the holidays. And even if no dietary restrictions are in place, high-fat and high-calorie choices should be limited in favor of options such as more veggies and lean meat. Work with senior loved ones to find healthy recipes that they can enjoy, but that won’t compromise their diets.
- Curb the alcohol. With the many negative effects alcohol can have on seniors, both socially and physically (pancreas inflammation, depression, and irregular heartbeat, just to name a few), and the dangers associated with loss of balance and driving while intoxicated, alcohol consumption should be restricted to no more than one drink per day for women, or two for men.
- Be prepared. Seniors should keep with them a list of their current medical conditions and medications (both prescribed and over-the-counter), so that, in the event of a medical emergency, doctors are fully informed and able to provide the best care. Along those lines, it’s crucial for seniors to see their doctor promptly when health concerns arise, as incidences of flu, colds, depression, and other ailments are higher this time of year.
For more tips on helping seniors stay healthy, active and engaged throughout the holiday season and beyond, call on the professional Georgia senior care experts at Certified Home Care of Georgia. Whether it’s a friendly companion to spend an afternoon with, a helping hand with picking up groceries and preparing meals, or transportation and accompaniment to fun holiday outings and events, we’re here for you, 24/7, according to your senior loved one’s preferences and schedule. You can reach us any time at 770-635-8042 to get your questions answered or to arrange for a free in-home assessment.