Nov 10, 2017 by Robert Myer
Older adults who are living with diabetes should be extra cautious during the holiday season. By overindulging, they can slip into bad eating habits, raise their blood sugar levels and gain weight. Fortunately, there are a variety of ways senior citizens can manage their diabetes and still enjoy the holidays.
In honor of American Diabetes Month, Comfort Keepers of Jackson, MS compiled this list of holiday diabetes management tips and in home care services that are sure to help older adults keep their blood sugar levels and weight at bay.
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 they can use plain yogurt or cottage cheese instead of high calorie and high fat sour cream in holiday recipes. Dips made from yogurt are a great alternative for dipping fruit or fresh vegetables.
Holiday cookies and sweets can be made with artificial sweeteners instead of sugar and instead of using butter or shortening in holiday baking seniors can use margarine or even applesauce and it won’t affect the quality of the treats.
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.
Often seniors have their schedules and routines thrown off during the holiday season. Holiday parties last late into the night and holiday breakfasts can mean seniors need to be out of the house early. But getting enough sleep is important for seniors, especially seniors who have diabetes. Seniors who have trouble sleeping or need supervision at night can get extra holiday help from in home care services.
Skipping meals is one of the worst things that diabetics can do. All diabetics, especially those that are medication to regulate their blood sugar, need to eat regularly. Instead of skipping meals in order to eat more at those holiday parties seniors with diabetes should be eating several small meals throughout the day to keep their blood sugar level. In home care services can help seniors check and manage their sugar levels.
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 senior loved one in Jackson, MS or the nearby areas has diabetes and might need some extra attention and help this holiday season, contact us or call (601) 620-0867 today to find out all of the in home care services we offer. Our experienced, compassionate and reliable caregivers have the training and insight to help your senior loved one stay safe through the holidays, without giving up all the things that make the occasions special.