Concerns can run high on Thanksgiving Day due to the stress of arranging travel, preparing dinner, and cleaning up after everyone. This year, if you are hosting a gathering that includes people of varying ages, you should make it a point to honor your elderly visitors.

Planning a thanksgiving meal for older guests with specific dietary and mobility concerns might be challenging. When you put some time, preparation, and communication into your thanksgiving meal, you can easily make it suitable for all ages.

Organizing an Age-Friendly Thanksgiving

It’s customary to spend Thanksgiving with loved ones and enjoy a feast. However, you may worry about whether or not your loved one can handle a significant family function if they need in-home care and assistance. 

The following suggestions for seniors will help make Thanksgiving a unique and memorable occasion for you and your loved ones:

1) Prepare the Dining Area Prior and Make Seating Arrangements.

After you have set the tables with plates, silverware, and glasses, you should make sure there is room for serving items. Guests or older family members with mobility issues should be seated towards the far end of the table to allow them to get up and down from their chairs more often and quickly. Guests more prone to mobility issues should be seated near exits and aisles. Prepare the dining area prior and make seating arrangements. 

Check your home layout to ensure it is safe and free of anything that could cause someone to trip and fall. Add more lighting, keep the carpets in place, and clean the walkways. If visitors need a walker, wheelchair, or medical equipment (such as an oxygen tank), ensure the passages are large enough to accommodate them.

If you plan to go out for dinner, try to visit the restaurant beforehand to see if there are many stairs, tight spaces, or other conditions that would make it difficult for your aging relative to navigate safely.

2) Choose Nutrient-Rich Dishes.

Family members who are elderly may have trouble due to issues with their teeth, taste buds, chewing power, or swallowing ability. If a family member needs special care because of their age, it’s best to plan the Thanksgiving meal around their dietary restrictions. It would be best if you prepared recipes that are soft on dentures and simple to chew.

You may assist a loved one who enjoys Thanksgiving meals but may have difficulty chewing certain foods, such as turkey, by shredding their dish into bite-sized pieces before serving them.

When it comes to arranging meals, you should take into account the dietary limits of diabetics and those on low-sodium diets. Keep the salt to a minimum and experiment with other alternatives.

3) Interaction Is the Key.

On Thanksgiving, we give thanks for the connections we have with our families and friends. Don’t make someone you care about feel left out at Thanksgiving dinner. Many people wrongly think that older people are grumpy and don’t want to talk. 

Since Thanksgiving places such an emphasis on getting together with loved ones, it’s the perfect time for grandparents and other older family members to share their knowledge and experience with their younger relatives.

4) Get Some Assistance if You Feel Like You Need It.

It may be helpful to hire senior home care services to assist with caregiving responsibilities during and after the hectic days leading up to Thanksgiving. They can help with feeding and bathing and are also a great source of company and social contact.

If your elderly relative requires home health assistance, consider inviting a caregiver around for supper. It can be reassuring and bring peace of mind to know that aid is close by for your loved one.

5) Evaluate Everyone’s Pace.

People with dementia may feel anxious and uneasy in busy, loud places. Finding a quiet spot for your loved one to relax before the event helps smooth the way. Maintain a consistent, modest volume with the music and the conversations. Refrain from forcing yourself to go out if the thought of doing so causes stress to an elderly loved one due to physical limitations. To ensure that they get visited by family members at all times of the day, whether for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, schedule visits at various times of the day or have smaller groups of relatives come on alternating days before or after Thanksgiving.

Final Thoughts

Thanksgiving is a time to gather with loved ones to enjoy each other’s company over a sumptuous meal. Prepare ahead of time and do everything you can to give everyone a thanksgiving they will remember. The time spent with loved ones matters most, not the mishaps, so relax if things don’t go as planned. After all, the day is about giving thanks, connecting with family, and spreading love.

Express Senior Homecare for the Holidays

If you need assistance for your aging loved one during the holiday season, you can rely on Tita Homecare services to aid you. You may contact us online through our online form and send us your details, or you can call us directly at 1 (818) 700-8959. 

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