Thanksgiving Tips for Seniors and Their Caregivers



From concerns about denture-friendly cuisine or a recently diagnosed gastro condition to pleasing picky eaters at the table (such as when kids will be a part of the festivities), there are lots of reasons why you may need to tweak meals at Thanksgiving time. For example, if tough vegetables don’t work with your current dental implants, let your family know.

At the same time, whether it’s mom, dad, or another relative – if you’re cooking a meal for someone with dietary needs, now’s the time to get inventive. Consider taking the following steps:

  • Ensure food is of the right texture if your relative has swallowing difficulties
  • Find sugar-free deserts for someone with diabetes who’s prone to hyperglycemic episodes
  • Steer away from food that’s too rich if your relative has an inflammatory bowel condition

The chances are, when you begin exploring alternative recipe options, you’ll enhance your culinary skills too.

Focus on mobility

Do you or your relatives have mobility needs that aren’t conducive to your home environment? For example, if your guest uses a stair lift at home, do you have a downstairs bathroom instead? If there isn’t, how will you work around this?

Similarly, those who need to use Zimmer frames will probably need more room to mobilize around furniture. Again, communicating your needs to your family or asking your relatives what they need is the best way to make the event easier on the day.

Keep meds in mind

Everyone enjoys a drink at Thanksgiving, but do your medications work well with alcohol? For example, drinking with an antibiotic such as Metronidazole can result in unpleasant consequences. Similarly, many benzodiazepines may make you drowsier than usual when they’re combined with alcohol.

At the same time, if you’re taking a blood thinner such as warfarin, you need to avoid too many green vegetables. To ensure you don’t combine your meds with a food or drink that’ll affect their efficacy, read the patient information leaflet or chat with your physician.

Strike the right balance between socializing and good health

Although Thanksgiving is an exciting time of year for all involved, it can leave you feeling tired no matter your age. This is why striking the right balance between socializing and maintaining your health is a good idea.

Evidence shows that reducing social isolation can prolong life among seniors and enhance your overall health. At the same time, you know when you’re likely to feel tired, or as a relative, you may worry about exhausting the seniors in your family. Similarly, if you’re the one preparing Thanksgiving dinner, you may experience burnout too. Ways to avoid this include:

  • Listen to your body and take a break when needed
  • Stay well hydrated and nourished throughout the day
  • Ask other family members to help

Grab help, when needed

On that note, if you want to ensure everyone in your family can participate, but you feel like help is needed, ask for it. Some services provide carers for the day. Carers can help with activities such as bathing, toileting, and dressing, which may make the logistical aspects of Thanksgiving with a senior simpler for all involved. If this isn’t an option, discuss your needs openly with your relatives and focus on how you can all work together to create a day that’s enjoyable for all.

For extra help to stay mobile in your home, take a look at our full line of Stair Lifts and Home Elevators at Easy Climber. Your mobility and independence is our passion and purpose.