Families across the nation are coming together for Thanksgiving. For the older adults in your family, it is a very special time to reunite with loved ones and be treated to a festive meal, but Thanksgiving can also bring additional challenges for those trying to accommodate the needs of older adults.
Here’s what you need to know to make your Thanksgiving healthy and safe for the older adults in your family.
Create a Safer Space
Hosting your family on Thanksgiving is something to be proud of; however, it also comes with added responsibility for older adults.
Make sure that your home is safe for the older folks by making sure that the front steps are accessible, make sure the steps are clear of ice, snow and wet leaves, and check your handrails. Also, make sure the floor is clear of obstacles and that furniture is arranged to allow them to get around without the risk of a fall or other accident.
Because of all the extra cooking that happens, your home is at increased risk for a kitchen fire. Keep an eye on all your dishes and make sure a fire extinguisher is within arm’s reach. Also, make sure you have a fire plan to get everyone out quickly, just in case.
Many older adults have specific nutritional concerns and need to be especially careful about the extra salt, fat and sugar that tends to be part of the Thanksgiving feast.
We’re not saying that the older folks should be given Jell-O while everyone else feasts on turkey, stuffing, and gravy. Instead, consider adapting your menu to be healthier, or provide healthier options.
In fact, many favorite recipes can easily be adapted to be healthier without sacrificing flavor. Not only will your older adults appreciate it, but the rest of your guests will also be less likely to pass out after dinner.
Fun for Everyone
While touch football may not be possible, make sure that the older adults are entertained and feel included in your thanksgiving gathering. One of the best things you can do is take out old family films of Thanksgivings past. The only thing sweeter than Thanksgiving meals are the memories.
Crafts are another great way to keep your older loved ones engaged without having them do anything strenuous. You can do all sorts of crafts with them, including making fall wreaths, painted gourds, cornhusk napkin rings, or decorative candleholders.
While these crafts will keep them occupied, they can interact with grandkids and you’ll also have a great opportunity to talk to them while you’re working on the projects.
While hosting your older loved ones for Thanksgiving should be fun, it doesn’t let them off the hook when it comes to addressing their health care needs. Make sure they have all their medications and maintain their regular schedule. While they will want to engage with the family, especially grandkids, make sure they don’t over-exert themselves or put themselves at unnecessary risk.
If they require any kind of specialty care, or if you need to connect with an outside caregiver make sure that you have the contact information readily available for all their providers.
A Medical Alert system can help since operators can directly access all of a loved one’s information with one push of a button.
Keep Your Loved Ones Safe this Thanksgiving, with Medical Alert
Take the stress off yourself and get your loved ones the gift of health and safety. A Medical Alert system empowers seniors with the independence to travel in confidence. When they know that help is available at the push of a button, making the trip on Thanksgiving is safer and less stressful.