The holiday season is about to get into full swing, and unfortunately, many seniors may feel isolated from their families. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other holidays are a great opportunity to be with our loved ones. Still, as family members age, we need to consider the challenges seniors face that may prevent them from enjoying the holiday cheer.
Scan Your Home to Make it Safe for Seniors
Before your loved ones arrive, be sure to remove any clutter or tripping hazards from common areas, like the bathroom, kitchen, living, and dining rooms. In the kitchen, make sure your cooking surfaces are clear of hazards, and you’re ready with a fire extinguisher in case of a fire in the oven. The National Fire Protection Agency says the likelihood of home kitchen fires triples on Thanksgiving, making it the most common day for kitchen fires all year.
Incorporate Elders into the Meal Prep
Most of our grandparents and older parents are used to being the hosts for big holiday gatherings. It can be difficult to transition into being a guest. Share some of the meal preparation with your elders. Ask them to make a favorite dish, or assist with gathering ingredients.
Another tip is to let seat them at the head of the table, honoring their position as matriarch or patriarch of the family.
Watch for Food/Medication Complications
During the meal, stay mindful of any medications your loved ones are using. Some may interact with alcohol, and some medications, like certain blood thinners, can even react poorly to too many green leafy vegetables. Be sure you’re aware of any potential complications or side effects so you can enjoy a stress-free dinner.
Engage Seniors After the Meal
Getting out for a neighborhood walk is a great way to stay active after a holiday meal. If your family prefers a more vigorous activity like a game of touch football, look for ways to include your elders. Asking them to act as a referee or coach can be fun.
If your loved ones traveled to see you, invite them to stay over. You’ll enjoy more time together and avoid the risks of driving after dark.
Most importantly, ensure your elders are listening to their bodies and know when it’s time to call it a night. It’s all about finding the balance between including your older loved ones and avoiding burning them out with too much holiday cheer.
Happy Thanksgiving from EasyCall!