The holidays are a time of joy and happiness as you reunite with family and friends in an atmosphere of love and generosity – but they can also be quite stressful for some. Making plans, buying gifts, and cooking meals for loved ones can disrupt normal everyday routines, which can make staying healthy a challenge.
One difficulty for many is understanding the limits that an elderly family member may have. Giving your elderly loved ones options during the holidays and asking them what they want to do without anticipating their limitations is a great way to help them maintain their health and happiness throughout the season.
Keep the following tips in mind:
• Maintain healthy diet options – Rich — but not necessarily healthy — meals and snacks are commonplace during the holidays, which often leads to overindulging. If you’re planning a large dinner around Christmas or Thanksgiving, consider serving a lighter lunch that day to avoid overeating. It’s important not to deny your loved ones the foods they like, but portion control should be kept in mind.
• Make hydration a priority – With all the hustle and bustle associated with the holidays, it can be easy to forget to take care of the basics. Make sure your senior loved ones are getting the fluids they need, as dehydration can be cause for hospitalization. Keep water easy to access around the house, and consider keeping bottled water with you when you are out and about.
• Drink moderately – Alcohol can impair anybody’s functions, but for seniors who tend to take more medications than average, alcohol can interact poorly with them. Consider offering alternate alcohol-free beverages so everybody can enjoy their time equally.
• Encourage healthy involvement – Your senior loved ones still want to be able to participate in the holidays. Nobody wants to feel left out, so you should encourage them to help with preparations in ways that they are comfortable with. Offer to host your holiday events at your house instead of theirs, however keep them involved by encouraging them to prepare their favorite meal or dish, or help decorate.
With just a little bit of planning and preparation, as well as a willingness to make small changes to family traditions as needed, your senior family members can enjoy the holidays just as much as the rest of the family, while staying healthy along the way. Call us today at 407-270-7500 to schedule a tour, or for any questions you may need answered.