Nov 10, 2017 by Comfort Keepers of Mobile, AL
The holidays are a time for family, friends and fantastic meals. However, for older adults with diabetes the holidays can be somewhat dangerous. November is Diabetes Awareness Month, an ideal time for seniors who have diabetes to make a plan to get through the holidays safely. The following are some in home care services and tips for seniors who have diabetes to help them enjoy the holiday season without giving up the foods they love:
Due to the fact that the holiday season is filled with social gatherings, many seniors stay out later and don’t get enough sleep as a result. Since sleep loss can make it more difficult for them to control their blood sugar, and sleep deprivation almost always leads to overindulging in foods that are high in fat and sugar, it’s imperative that older adults get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep every evening.
If older adults with diabetes are cooking dinner for their family or attending a dinner at a loved one’s home, they should search for healthy alternatives to traditional holiday dishes. For example, rather than preparing regular mashed potatoes, they can make cauliflower mashed potatoes. Instead of regular cakes and cookies, they should opt for ones that are made of sugar-free sweeteners.
Seniors that love to cook and bake during the holiday season will find that in home care services can help them adapt their traditional recipes and make them more diabetic friendly. Our in home care givers are great resources for diabetic friendly recipes and they can help seniors enjoy all the holiday foods they love with sensible substitutions that won’t spike their blood sugar.
Often times, diabetic seniors forget to exercise during the holiday season. This is unfortunate because working out on a regular basis during the holidays can help stabilize blood sugar and even offset the effects of a large meal. Some of the best exercises for older adults with diabetes include brisk walking outside or on a treadmill, water aerobics or swimming, bicycling, tai-chi, yoga, and stationary bicycling.
Contrary to popular belief, it is not a good idea for older adults to skip meals in order to save up for a big holiday feast. By doing so, seniors will find it more challenging to control their blood sugar. They will likely be starving and more likely to overeat if they skip meals than they would if they eat a nutritious meal a few hours beforehand. Seniors who are worried about their blood sugar spiking should think about in home care services during the holiday season. Experienced and well-trained caregivers can provide the extra care and support that seniors with diabetes need.
Holiday gatherings almost always involve some type of alcohol. While it’s okay for seniors to have a drink or two, they should be careful not to overdrink as alcohol can reduce blood sugar levels and interact with diabetes medications. In the event that they do decide to drink, diabetic older adults should pair their alcohol with food.
Sticking to a diabetes meal plan and healthy lifestyle choices can be tough when there are temptations and holiday gatherings that make it easy for seniors to splurge. The good news is it can be done when older adults make it a priority to look for diabetes friendly alternatives to traditional holiday dishes, exercise regularly, get enough sleep, avoid skipping meals, and limit their alcohol intake.
If your loved one in Mobile, AL has diabetes but doesn’t want to miss out on the holiday fun, food and drinks, contact us or call (251) 255-5174 today to find out more about how in home care services can help make the holidays safe and fun for your loved one.