Diabetes is one of the most common health issues facing older adults in the United States. If you are a family caregiver for an older adult living with diabetes, you know just how important it is to put effort into managing this disease at all times. This includes during special occasions such as Thanksgiving.
You may feel nervous preparing the Thanksgiving feast, or celebrating with your aging parent, while also helping them to manage their blood sugar effectively. Fortunately, there are simple ways you can help your parents to enjoy the celebration, feel involved, and still manage their health properly.
Use these tips to help your senior with diabetes manage their blood sugar over Thanksgiving:
Encourage your parent to eat a snack prior to the feast. Whether you are hosting the holiday meal in your home, or you will be bringing your parent to a family member’s home for the feast, don’t go into the meal hungry. Not only can staying hungry for a long period cause an unsafe drop in blood sugar for some, but it will most likely lead to excessive indulgence when the time comes for the main meal. Rather than putting your parent at risk of a major blood sugar spike by overeating, encourage them to eat a balanced, nutritious snack to tide them over and keep their portions under control.
Go for favorites first. If your parent feels like they have to be “good” and eat vegetables and other “healthy choices” first, they will likely eat the calories they should, but then continue to indulge in the carb and sugar-heavy favorites. Instead, encourage your parent to choose their top foods, and eat small portions of those first. This way they have enjoyed their favorites, and can move on to other choices until they are full without worrying about “missing out.”
Keep the unhealthy options out of reach. If your parent is sitting in front of carb-heavy foods such as mashed potatoes and stuffing, they are likely to eat several servings. Instead, seat them near healthier foods, or encourage foods they should limit to pass along and stay out of their reach.
Keep them involved. A person who is lonely, or feels left out of an event, is more likely to mindlessly eat during an event. Encourage your parent to stay involved in the activity, bringing them into conversations, encouraging them to watch a holiday movie with the family, or even letting them help with cleanup if they will enjoy it.
If your aging loved one has recently been diagnosed with diabetes, or you want to find effective ways to support them in managing their disease, senior care may be the ideal solution.
A senior home care services provider can be with your aging parent on a fully customized schedule to provide highly personalized services specifically designed to help your parent manage their challenges and limitations in the ways that are best for them.
This can include assisting them with grocery shopping, meal and snack preparation, helping them to understand dietary restrictions given by their doctor, and encouraging them to stay physically active. During the holidays, this personalized support can be instrumental to allow your aging loved one to enjoy the celebrations while staying healthy.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering hiring Senior Care in Laguna Woods, CA, please contact the caring staff at Canaan Home Care today!