Get Ready for a Senior-Friendly Thanksgiving This Year
Thanksgiving is a great holiday where friends and family can all get together and spend quality time with one another. When you are planning on hosting Thanksgiving and have elderly family members coming to the table—there are certain things that you can do in order to help make your holiday senior-friendly. Here are a few things you can do.
Do a Quick Safety Check
Make sure that you have all of the rugs secured in the home (they can be a trip and fall hazard), and that you remove clutter from the home. Trip and fall accidents are some of the most common reasons that seniors end up in the hospital, so the more you can do to keep the home safe, the better. Make sure the home is well-lit, but be careful about having too many open flame candles around.
Preparing the Right Foods
Thanksgiving is all about the meal, which is why it is so important that you take the time to prepare the right meal for seniors. Here are a few things that you can do in order to make sure the meal is senior-friendly.
- Make the food easy to swallow and chew, such as soft vegetables, stuffing and mashed potatoes. If seniors have dentures, it can reduce the amount of saliva they produce, making dry and tough foods more difficult to eat.
- Add more seasoning but less salt to the menu. Salt can cause a serious spike in blood pressure, but in order to make up for the lack of salt, you can use other low-sodium savory seasonings. Some seniors struggle with taste due to the prescription medications, so seasonings can really help.
- Keep foods easy to eat. The easier foods are to eat, the better. Seniors can hurt themselves with knives if they aren’t careful.
Of course, also make sure that there is someone nearby to help seniors during their meal just in case.
Be On the Lookout for Change
Many people aren’t able to see their senior family members as often as they would like. While this can be difficult, it can also be a blessing in disguise. This can give you the opportunity to look out for changes in your senior loved one. This can include signs of change in memory, or early signs of dementia. If you are visiting your senior loved in in their home, check the sign for cleanliness, take note of how the pets are doing and look for concerning signs such as expired food.
The more questions you can ask your senior loved ones, the better.
Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and no time is better than the present to start preparing for this holiday, especially if you have seniors coming to the table. Keep these tips in mind to help make sure that your Thanksgiving meal is comfortable and memorable for your senior guests.
- Lori Thomas has decades of experience as a caregiver. Her writing for SeniorAdvice.com is informed by years of research as well as hands-on family experience caring for her now late mother, who had chronic health issues for most of her life. Lori is an integral part of the SeniorAdvice.com management team, acting as Vice President of Marketing and Chief Editor.
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