You can’t always be there. But we can.
Everyone gets excited thinking about Thanksgiving. The Family, fun and food combine to make the holiday very special. However, it’s easy to fall into some bad health habits over the Thanksgiving holiday. For seniors with limited mobility who depend on family caregivers and senior care providers, Thanksgiving can be especially unhealthy because they are dependent on others for so much.
For those family caregivers that want to help their aging relative choose good health during the holiday, here are some tips.
Eat a Healthy Breakfast
Many people skip out on breakfast for Thanksgiving morning because they want to save room for the feast. However, eating a sensible meal, such as an egg-white omelet or a whole grain toast can keep the body functioning well and start the day off right. This is especially important for seniors with strict diet requirements like diabetes or high blood pressure. There will be plenty of time for feasting later.
Put a Healthy Spin on Traditional Dishes
Many traditional Thanksgiving meals are swimming in butter, sugar and fats. However, there are lots of healthy alternatives that can be found online. For example, instead of the traditional sweet potato casserole with butter, sugar and marshmallows, family caregivers and senior care providers can prepare roast sweet potatoes with a butter and maple syrup drizzle. Another example is to serve whole grain rolls with a sugar-free jelly instead of white rolls and full sugar variety.
People tend to overindulge on Thanksgiving, but if they remember that it’s just another meal, they can enjoy the tastes without going overboard. Seniors need to slow down and savor every bite as they eat. Instead of drenching everything in gravy, elderly adults can be more than satisfied with a few tablespoons. Family caregivers and senior care providers can help seniors use moderation for things like alcohol and desserts as well.
If possible, seniors can include some activity during the day to neutralize the delicious food they will or have already eaten. A walk around the block is a good way to enjoy the fall weather and get some exercise. Of course, they should be accompanied by a family caregiver or senior care provider to support them.
Above all, elderly adults should do what they can to enjoy a healthy Thanksgiving feast with their loved ones. Although they most likely won’t eat completely healthy, they can still enjoy the day and get back on track for the rest of the days of the year. If family caregivers and senior care providers can give aging adults the opportunity to make healthy choices, they should encourage it for their own well-being.