Nov 9, 2017 by Robert Myer
The holiday season is quickly approaching us in Metairie, LA, as are those fantastic holiday classic treats. For seniors with diabetes the holidays can be a dangerous time of the year because it’s easy to overindulge it when it comes to eating holiday treats like Christmas cookies, pies, cake and candy.
In honor of Diabetes Awareness Month Comfort Keepers of Metairie, LA has compiled the following helpful in home care services and tips to help seniors with diabetes can remain healthy and enjoy the holidays.
Upholding a diabetic meal plan and healthy lifestyle choices can be challenging 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 diabetic-friendly alternatives to traditional holiday dishes, exercise regularly, get enough sleep, avoid skipping meals, and limit their alcohol intake.
Seniors with diabetes can enjoy the holiday foods they love, if they also make some minor changes to their recipes to transform them to be safer for diabetics. For example, while preparing Christmas cookies and sweets, use artificial sweetener instead of sugar. Or, instead of baking this year buy bakery cookies and sweets that are made especially for diabetics; that way seniors can enjoy the classic tastes of the holiday without putting their blood sugar into overdrive.
Seniors who want to cook a traditional holiday dinner or bake sweets for their family members can use the help of professional in home care services to make sure that they have all the supplies they need to cook diabetic friendly dishes. A home caregiver can even assist with meal preparation, light housekeeping and clean up after dinner.
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. Find more great information on living with diabetes here:
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.
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 loss of sleep 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.
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. Seniors who will be drinking during the holiday season should consider in home care services to make sure that they get home safely and don’t have too much to drink.
Do you have a senior loved one in Metairie, LA? In home care services from Comfort Keepers can offer your loved one with professional assistance with managing their diabetes and enjoying the holidays and everyday life. Contact us or call (504) 300-0115 today to find out more about our care services and how they can help your loved one this year.