Home Care Blog | November 16, 2017
Tips for Diabetes | Seniors who have diabetes don’t have to give up all the holiday foods they love during the holidays; however, they do need to take some extra steps to try and make sure that their blood sugar is stable and that they are taking care of themselves during this time. Because it’s Diabetes Awareness Month, Comfort Keepers of Calgary, AB has compiled a helpful list of home care tips for diabetes management during the holidays:
It’s only natural that seniors with diabetes still want to eat all the foods they love during the holidays. After all most of those foods are only available once a year. The key for seniors with diabetes who want to enjoy all those classic holiday dishes is to find ways to make healthy substitutions in their usual recipes. Baking cookies and sweets with an artificial sweetener instead of sugar is one way to make holiday treats healthier for those with diabetes. Another is to substitute things like applesauce for butter in cookies and cakes.
Seniors who like to cook holiday dishes and sweets can get help figuring out healthy substitutions from a home care provider who can offer advice, help them cook and help them clean up after the holiday treats are made.
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.
Get Enough Sleep
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.
Refrain From Skipping Meals
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.
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. A home care giver can assist seniors who want to indulge in a little holiday drinking make sure that they get safely safe from holiday parties and events.
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 are concerned about the safety of your aging loved ones, especially in regard to fire, we can help. While it’s important to rely on the expertise of licensed professionals for certain precautions, we can provide home safety assessments and ensure your loved ones’ environment is safe.