Thursday, July 3, 2014

Celebrating Independence Day with Senior Relatives

This Fourth of July, reach out to your elderly family members and friends in Durham and invite them to join in on the celebration. With a few slight modifications, you can tailor your party to let everyone on the guest list enjoy their time. An important part of senior care is looking out for their well-being, and making sure they always feel welcome is a key step in doing just that. Independence Day is a great excuse to spend time with your family and friends, and enjoy food, warm weather, and fireworks together. But it may not always be easy for older adults who have limited mobility, dietary restrictions, or special needs. Consider these ideas to help your loved ones celebrate the holiday and have fun doing it, too.
Modify the Menu
A traditional cookout usually means hot dogs and hamburgers, macaroni salad, and other fatty, salty, or hard-to-eat foods. While these treats might be fine for younger guests, they are not always the best choice for older loved ones with dietary restrictions. Some foods might cause interactions with their medications, others can increase the risk of developing medical conditions, and some foods might just be too difficult to eat. By slightly altering your holiday menu or making sure to offer foods everyone can enjoy, you will make the celebration more welcoming and inviting. Consider opting for a fruit salad, rather than a potato salad, or serving grilled chicken instead of greasy burgers.
Bring the Party to Them
Some of your elderly loved ones can join you at the local parade or to see the holiday fireworks. But others may not be able to leave their homes or assisted living communities. That doesn’t mean they cannot celebrate with you! Family should take special care to include elderly relatives in the celebration by bringing the party to their loved ones. There are lots of senior-friendly ways you can celebrate together. For example, your whole family could make red, white, and blue treats or have a patriotic movie night together.
Plan in Advance
If your loved one can make it to the family cookout, it is important that you plan in advance. Consider putting out seating with backs so your older friend or relative can sit comfortably and safely. Also, try to provide ample shade where your loved one can escape from the sun but still join in on the fun. If he or she has mobility concerns, plan out an easy-to-navigate route for them to get from the house to the picnic. If they are in a wheelchair, make sure they are able to move around the party freely and without obstructions. In addition, make sure your loved one is wearing lightly colored and loose fitting clothes, has enough sunscreen, and is wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses to stay safe during warm, sunny days.
Making sure your older friends and family feel welcome is an important part of elder care. This Fourth of July, consider these senior-friendly tips and do a little advance planning. By doing so, you can make sure they celebrate Independence Day comfortably, safely, and easily.

1 comment:

  1. These are some great tips. I think it's important to accommodate seniors. I like the idea of modifying the menu for them. It's important to serve things that they will enjoy and that will be good for them to eat.
    Gary Puntman |