Millions of families all over the world enjoy Thanksgiving day by enjoying each other’s company while eating various scrumptious meals prepared. A lot of planning is done in advance to make sure the day goes as smoothly as possible. Everyone is excited to eat the yummy foods and the desserts.
Many families at the same time may also caring for a loved one who is not capable of taking care of themselves due to a health condition, aging or dementia. If you are one of those individuals who is a caregiver for a loved one, know that it is possible to make this special day enjoyable for everyone.
Many seniors are diagnosed with dementia each and every year. Gathering for the holidays also provides a chance for adult kids to know the changing needs of their aging parents. A parent may exhibit early signs of dementia or any other health condition. Schedule a visit with the doctor since early detection could be extremely beneficial in the long run.
Early Dementia Signs
The early signs of dementia may be very subtle and not be immediately obvious. So what are the signs that family members need to watch for;
1. Check for the expired food in the refrigerator.
2. Is a senior having a tough time remembering recent events?
3. Is the senior taking care of his/her personal needs?
4. Talk to your loved one and ask about them in general. Are they have difficulty in doing something?
5. Family members of seniors should have an idea of how clean they like their house to be? How they speak and act?. If anything seems or feels out of the ordinary, look into it.
Seniors already diagnosed with dementia may find it hard to be around unfamiliar faces and loud noises. Here are some tips to keep this time enjoyable for your loved one suffering from dementia.
1. Maintain a routine.
2. Keep gathering small so as not to confuse your loved one with unfamiliar faces.
3. Avoid restaurants or noisy places.
4. Dementia patients usually lose short-term memory faster than long-term. Talk about events that happened in the past for example childhood or while growing up.
Preparing meals for seniors
While preparing food, please keep in mind the dietary restrictions for your loved one and prepare meals accordingly. Seniors may have difficulty chewing or they may no longer enjoy foods they once did.
1. Prepare soft foods as it is easier to chew and swallow them.
2. Keep salt to a minimum. It can always be added later if needed. (Salt can contribute to high blood pressure)
3. Ask your loved one which food do they enjoy eating. Is there a specific dish that they would like to have?
4. Prepare meals with healthy ingredients such as carbohydrates, proteins, fruits and vegetables. (consider any dietary restrictions for your loved one)
5. Seniors need calcium for healthy bones. It’s main sources are yogurt, milk and cheese as well as leafy green vegetables.