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Diabetics Can Enjoy the Holidays with Advance Planning

Health issues can sometimes keep seniors from enjoying special occasions such as holidays like they once did. Family caregivers should try to adapt holidays for older adults whose needs are changing.


Q.    I’m a 79-year-old man who was just diagnosed with diabetes. This will be my first holiday season that I’ll need to be careful what I eat.  Can you give me some suggestions, particularly since I live alone?  


We checked with an expert source to get the scoop on how you could make the most of the holidays and stay healthy. The most important thing about managing diabetes during any special season is to plan ahead, according to the American Diabetes Association. The more you can learn what's going to happen, the better you can plan for good diabetes care that will keep you from creating a dangerous situation during the season.


For instance: Will you stay home or go out of town? Are many parties on your agenda? Will you have company for the holidays? Having an idea of how each day will stack up can help you be better prepared, according to the Association.


During this holiday season, try these tips from the American Diabetes Association:


  • Decide ahead of time what and how much you will eat and how you will handle social pressure (“No thank you, I'm too full.”).
  • Share one dessert with a friend, limiting serving size or scraping off the high-fat whipped-cream topping.
  • Volunteer to bring a favorite low-sugar dessert, such as plain cookies, baked apples, or sugar-free puddings, to social functions.
  • This is not the time to take a holiday from your daily exercise routine. If you’re able, continue your workouts in addition to extra activities, such as parking far from and walking to the mall, or power walking while shopping.

Arranging a holiday schedule can be overwhelming. Why not seek help from family and friends or hire a companion such as a CAREGiverSM from Home Instead Senior Care®. CAREGivers can help you plan your holiday schedule and menu to keep you on track during this hectic season.  A CAREGiver also could accompany you to holiday events, help with shopping and errands, as well as light housekeeping and meal preparation.