Senior Caregivers: Safely Take Care of the Elderly at Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving is a day to enjoy feasting and quality time with family and friends. However, elderly members of your family may require senior care and extra support, and you may worry about properly accommodating them or whether they are up to the occasion. Here are a few ways to keep your family members happy and healthy on this wonderful day.
Many seniors require travel accommodations, and some may not be able to operate a vehicle or feel safe doing so. If you live near your family member/ friend, offer them a ride with you to the festivities. Make sure to bring a blanket and extra cushion to make the car ride as comfortable as possible. If your family member lives further away, or you are hosting at your house, a caregiving service can provide transportation services so that your loved one does not have to worry about driving.
Healthy Meal Choices
Turkey, Potatoes, Corn oh my! Let’s be real; the food is by far the best part of Thanksgiving. Whether you’re a family member or a professional caregiver, if you are preparing the meal, it’s important to keep a few things in concerning your elderly company’s diet regulations. People may suffer from diabetes or high blood pressure and other ailments, so it is wise to take note and plan accordingly. Incorporate low-sodium sides and heart-friendly turkey to keep everyone healthy and happy without compromising that yummy taste! You can also prepare an additional diabetes-friendly dessert such as homemade peach ice-cream! Additionally, many seniors also struggle with eating due to older taste buds as well as deteriorating chewing strength. Substituting salt with seasonings will make the meal much more enjoyable for all of your guests. Cutting food into bite-size pieces is especially important for those individuals who may have a weakened jaw or those with dentures.
Dealing With Depression
While the holidays are a time of joy, they may remind us, especially seniors, of family and friends have that have passed away. Many elderly individuals live alone which can trigger loneliness and depression. If you are a family member, make sure to reach out to your loved ones this holiday season and invite them to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with you. Being in the presence of good company can help to ease feelings of loneliness. If you can’t be with your elderly loved one, make sure to call or facetime them! If you are a professional caregiver, you may be working during the Thanksgiving holiday. Planning fun activities and a healthy delicious meal for your client can keep feelings of loneliness and sadness at bay. Including them in the meal prep will give a senior a sense of purpose and lift their spirits. Weather permitting, take a walk around the block to admire all of the Fall foliage. Get creative; you are filling in for this individual’s family, so it’s important that they feel cherished and loved!
With the holidays approaching, senior caregivers are in high demand! If the above-mentioned sounds like you, and you are interested in becoming a professional caregiver, or you have general questions about the program or about how to care for your loved one this holiday season, please contact The New Jersey Caregiver Academy at 609-416-2442. We’d be happy to answer any questions you have about this rewarding profession.