Nov 10, 2017 by Robert Myer
Older adults in Gulfport, MS 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. Seniors who have trouble managing their diabetes should consider non medical home care services to help them take a proactive approach to not only managing their diabetes, but enriching their lifestyle at home.
In honor of American Diabetes Month, Comfort Keepers of Gulfport, MS has compiled the following list of holiday diabetes management tips that are sure to help older adults keep their blood sugar levels and weight at bay:
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.
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.
Conventional wisdom says that seniors who are planning on eating a lot at a holiday party might want to skip a meal or two beforehand in order to save calories. But that is exactly the wrong advice for diabetic seniors. Seniors with diabetes need to eat regularly in order to keep their blood sugar in check. The very best thing that a senior can do is eat regular meals, just smaller portions, before a holiday party or event.
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 with diabetes should be very careful about drinking during the holidays. That doesn’t mean that they can’t enjoy a hot toddy, some eggnog or a cocktail. It just means that they should make sure they only have one or two drinks. Those drinks should also be made with sugar free ingredients if possible. Seniors who need help getting safely to holiday parties and events when they know they will be drinking can get extra holiday help from non medical home care. A caregiver can help arrange transportation and make sure seniors are safe at home after a holiday party.
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 you have a senior loved one in Gulfport, MS who could benefit from some help with holiday cooking, getting enough exercise, or other household and personal care tasks, contact us or call (601) 620-0872 today to find out more about how non medical home care can help your loved one. Expert caregivers are a fantastic way to support your senior loved one and help them remain happy and healthy at home during the holidays and throughout the year.