Mary Alexander: Hi! I am Mary Alexander from Home Instead Senior Care, and today I am discussing helpful tips for enjoying holiday gatherings with our senior loved ones. During these busy family gatherings, it's important for everyone to be aware of and consider it of elderly family member's need. Talk to family and friends before they arrive. If your senior is easily confused, has trouble eating or has behaviors that guests might not understand, explain the circumstances to them and let them know how to approach the situation. Noise and commotion, especially from young children, may be upsetting to seniors. Provide a quiet private space for a nap or to take a break from the festivities. Create clear pathways for walking. Be careful of throw rugs and wires. Encourage you senior loved one to join helpers in the kitchen. Creating a comfortable place for them to sit and keep them involved in the conversation. Plan activities that everyone can participate in, such as taking a walk, looking at photographs, or listening to short stories; planned activities that all ages will enjoy can lower the stress of the occasion and encourage positive communication. During these gatherings, many families wish to hold on to longtime holiday food traditions but these old traditions don't always fit with new realities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in three Americans now has some type of diet restriction as a result of diabetes, celiac disease, food allergies and other conditions. In addition, many seniors must adhere to low or no sodium diets. One easy way to make sure a variety of dietary needs are satisfied is to serve your holiday meal buffet style. It is also a great way to introduce new and healthy dishes while keeping a few of the traditional favorites. Those with dietary restrictions might only be able to eat the side dishes yet they will feel right at home with the buffet. Don't worry though, making dishes that meet special dietary guidelines doesn't have to mean more time in the kitchen for family caregivers. Let's talk about some great holiday time-saving tips from HealthyCookingBlog.
Make and freeze casseroles, dressings and dessert ahead of time and cross them off your list. Cut, chop and wash ingredients earlier in the week. Cook what you enjoy preparing and purchase the rest, for example, order a cooked turkey and garnish it with fresh parsley and crab apples for personal touch. For dessert visit your local bakery, that's their specialty. Remember to purchase the napkins and plates for quicker cleanup. And for an easy and fast center piece, fill a bowl with fresh fruit or a vase with cranberries to hold flowers.
So those are just a few tips for enjoying holiday gatherings with your senior loved ones.