Thanksgiving: Holiday Tips for Seniors and Caregivers

Thanksgiving is a time for family and friends to gather and enjoy time together. It is also a time to give thanks for everything you and your family have been blessed with. This holiday is a favorite holiday among many due to its authentic traditions and its great food. However, this holiday can be stressful to hosts and for seniors and their caregivers. If one of your elderly loved ones is showing signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, or is beginning to lose some of their physical strength and capabilities then your normal, happy and gleeful Thanksgiving celebration could turn weary. If you have elderly loved ones who are not their normal healthy and robust selves, then keep reading to find out a few tips for making their and your Thanksgiving a fun and fantastic event. Plus, we have also included a few tips for seniors to make their Thanksgiving joyful.

Tips for Caregivers and Family Members

Thanksgiving may be a stressful time for caregivers and family members of seniors whose health is failing. Family caregivers have the special task of keeping an eye on their loved ones during the holiday. Following a few of these tips will ensure that you and your elderly loved one will have a great Thanksgiving.

Prepare Special Meals for Seniors

As people age they will lose their ability to taste certain foods because their taste buds will begin to fail. They may also lose the ability to chew properly. For both of these reasons, your loved one may have to eat differently throughout their everyday life. They also may need a special meal for the holidays. To make things easier on them during the Thanksgiving meal you may want to make food that is easy for your loved one to chew and digest. Additionally, you may want to use less salt on their meal and add more savory spices to amp up the tastes and nutrients of their meal.

Have Patience

Patience is an important virtue to behold if you are a caregiver. But, having patience may be difficult at times. When the person that you loved dearly for your entire life begins to change in front of your eyes, it may be difficult to reconcile their new self with their old self. However, they still are your loved ones and deserve respect and patience. If your loved one has emotional or physical outbursts then patience is an even greater need in your life. With this virtue you can talk your loved one through their issues and figure out why they are having an issue. With patience, you and your loved one can get through the holiday with enjoyment.

Take Any Help You Can

At a family gathering you probably will have many family members available to help you take care of your loved one. If anyone offers you help then take it. The more help you receive the easier your holiday may go. You should especially accept any help if you are also the host of the dinner.

Do Not Forget about Yourself

If you are too focused on making sure your loved one is comfortable and happy then you will not enjoy the holiday yourself. This may lead to feeling burnout and disappointment that the holiday did not go well. Always remember to enjoy yourself on Thanksgiving while making sure your loved one is also having fun. Both of these things can be accomplished by simply being patient with your elderly loved one and prioritizing time for yourself during the holiday.

 Tips For Seniors

Thanksgiving may be emotionally challenging for many seniors. The holidays can stress them out and leave them feeling alone. Here are a few tips for seniors to make their Thanksgiving fun and stress free.

Do not Dine Alone

Even if you do not have family members to celebrate Thanksgiving with, try not to dine alone. Many senior centers, community centers and churches provide Thanksgiving meals each year. Sharing the holiday experience with others can lift your spirits and keep you in the holiday mood. Plus, you will get a hearty meal out of the experience and maybe make a few friends.

Drink in Moderation

To avoid the negative consequences of alcohol, drink in moderation or do not drink at all. Alcohol can cause negative social and physical side effects, and can even mess with certain medications that you may be on. Avoiding alcohol or drinking in moderation will prevent any bad repercussions from occurring and keep your holiday fun.

Watch what you Eat

Although it may be easy and tempting to eat everything you see at a Thanksgiving meal, it probably is not the best idea. Holiday foods tend to be fatty, salty and high in calories. Overeating these foods can lead to heartburn, upset stomach and digestive issues. In some cases, overeating these foods can also lead to a heart attack. It is best for your health and wellness to eat in moderation and enjoy the foods you love the most.

Focus on Your Health

Your health should always be your number one priority even during the holidays. If you feel out of sorts or out of the ordinary during the holiday season then make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible. Colds, flu and depression are more common during the winter season.

The best thing to remember about Thanksgiving is to have fun and give thanks. Thanksgiving is a joyous holiday that should not be stressful on the caregiver or your elderly loved one. However, if you are the caregiver and your elderly loved one needs extra attention during the holiday season then you may feel more stress than usual. Even if this is the case, it is essential that you and your loved one have a great holiday. To ensure that this occurs, follow these tips for both seniors and yourself. With these tips you can ensure that your elderly loved one has a special day and stays calm and happy while you enjoy your holidays as well.