Nov 10, 2017 by Marlin Duncan
In honor of American Diabetes Month, Comfort Keepers of Hazleton, PA compiled this list of holiday diabetes management tips that are sure to help older adults keep their blood sugar level and keep that extra weight at bay. 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. Home health services can be a big help to seniors during the holiday season.
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.
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.
Home health services are a great resource for seniors who want to modify their traditional holiday dishes and make them diabetes friendly. A home caregiver can help seniors find new diabetic friendly recipes and cook healthy versions of their favorite holiday foods.
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.
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.
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 Hazleton, PA who has diabetes and needs a little extra help managing their diabetes during the holiday season contact us or call (570) 483-8913 today to find out more about home health services. Our experienced caregivers are full of advice and resources for making the holiday diabetes friendly.