Happy Safe St. Patrick's Day!

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By Martie Cruz


Erin go Bragh! For those who need a refresher course on their Gaelic, this is actually an anglicized version of Éirinn go Brách, or "Ireland until the end of time."


Whether they're actually Irish, or just Irish for the day, St. Patrick's Day tends to be one of those holidays when folks fiercely protect their traditions -- until the end of time. Sometimes that means spending an hour (or 12) at the nearest pub with O' in the name. Sometimes it means eating a boiled dinner of corned beef and cabbage.


The trouble is, as we age, these traditions tend to feel less like holiday revelry and more like dangerous behaviors. A few pints of Guinness or shots of whisky could have drastically different effects on an 80-year-old than on a 25-year-old. Same with a salty, fatty, starchy meal of corned beef and cabbage.


Luckily, there are ways to celebrate the day that don't involve major health risks to older adults. Here are some new St. Patrick's Day traditions to consider starting:


  • Make green eggs and ham. Not a traditional Irish meal, you say? Corned beef and cabbage isn't really either. At least this Seussian favorite is healthier, especially if you use turkey ham. Better yet, consider a real Irish staple, like salmon, or visit a local fish fry (you don't have to be Catholic, and they can be a lot of fun).


  • Swap ginger ale for ale. Or make a green smoothie – either with green fruits and veg or food coloring. We know this might be a hard sell to those who enjoy their St. Patty's Day tipple, but most experts agree that people over 65 need to be extra vigilant about their alcohol intake. If you're celebrating with an older adult who feels they must "toast the day the Irish way," try to discourage more than one or two drinks – and even then, only if it's okay with their doctor.


  • Watch an Irish or Irish-American-themed movie. There's something for every taste:
    • Gangsters: The Departed, The Boondock Saints, Gangs of New York
    • Immigrant stories: In America, Brooklyn, Far and Away, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Yankee Doodle Dandy
    • Heroes: The Sullivans, Ladder 49
    • Romance: The Quiet Man, Once
    • Coming of Age: The Commitments, My Left Foot


  • Visit Pinterest for Irish-themed crafts for every age.



For more information about helping older adults enjoy a happy, healthy and safe lifestyle, please contact us.



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