Thanksgiving is an exciting time for the family, including your senior relatives. It’s a wonderful time for family and friends to get together and share a meal and for seniors it’s the perfect opportunity to see friends and family that they may not get to spend time with often. However, it’s also a time when a few precautions should be put in place to ensure there are no accidents, your senior relatives are safe and that everyone has a fun day. Here are a few safety tips to consider for Thanksgiving Day.
Whether you are hosting Thanksgiving or your family is traveling to another relative’s home, it is important to make sure preparations are made in advance for your senior relatives. If you are traveling a long distance make sure they have everything they need for the trip, including extra medications. Making the drive safe and comfortable is also necessary, so make sure to plan your route, prepare for detours, have plenty of gas in the tank and stop frequently so they can get out to stretch their legs and take bathroom breaks.
It’s common for seniors to move slower than others and if they have a physical disability, it may be difficult to get out should there be a fire in the house. Thanksgiving Day generally involves a lot of cooking, so it’s important to remember to turn off all ovens and burners when they aren’t in use. Try your best to prevent any hazards and practice fire safety to ensure everyone has a safe and happy holiday.
Have Plenty of Healthy Foods on Hand
Thanksgiving is the day when there are a lot of foods readily available, but be sure to leave room for some healthy food choices as well. Many seniors struggle with eating a healthy, well-balanced diet, so Thanksgiving dinner is the perfect opportunity to provide them with foods that are packed with vitamins and nutrients. If your senior relatives are on a special diet, be sure to have foods readily available that meet their needs. When preparing meals some things to keep in mind may include:
- Making substitutions-for example, you can substitute ingredients for a healthier version. For instance try using applesauce in place of vegetable oil when preparing cakes and other baked goods, use Stevia in place of sugar and use skim milk in place of whole milk or cream.
- Make foods that are easy to chew and swallow-seniors who have dentures as well as certain health problems may struggle with chewing and swallow, which could lead to choking. To solve this problem, include soft foods, such as mashed potatoes and cut the turkey and ham into smaller slices.
- Make it a low-sodium diet-one of the most important things seniors should pay attention to is their sodium intake. Consider substituting salt with flavorful herbs or use low-sodium versions of condiments.
The most important thing to remember on Thanksgiving Day is that this is the time to make memories. So, relax, have fun, and enjoy your meal and enjoying spending the time with your friends and family. If you are relaxed and having fun, it means your senior relatives are as well.