Thanksgiving is a great occasion to get together with family members, young and old. It’s one of the most enjoyable holidays of the year, but it can also bring its share of challenges. With some advance planning, it can be a very special time for you and your elderly loved ones.
Holidays and other events that change the daily routine may be tiring for your loved one, so make sure he or she has a little extra help. You may want to arrange for a caregiver to help your loved one get dressed and ready in the morning and put him or her at ease.
Here are some tips for hosting a safe and comfortable senior-friendly gathering:
Remove any hazards that could lead to trips and falls before your loved one arrives, and make sure the bathroom is easily accessible. Walkers and canes can make getting up and down from the dinner table difficult, but seating your loved one at the end of the table should give him or her plenty of room.
Take steps to ensure safe cooking, such as doubling up on disposable aluminum pans to minimize dripping turkey juices, which can cause an oven fire. Home cooking fires are actually three times more common on Thanksgiving than the typical day, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
Be sure to connect with your loved one and include him or her in the activities and conversation. During the meal, try to bridge generation gaps by asking each other to share something, such as their proudest moment, the first president they remember, or a famous person who made the biggest impression.
Give thanks. This holiday is a time to consider the things you appreciate in life. Gratitude can have a positive impact on your health and that of your loved ones. Although it may be challenging, it’s important to find things to be grateful for and people to be grateful towards. Studies have shown that gratitude can relieve depression, lower blood pressure, improve immune function and facilitate more efficient sleep.