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How to Navigate Thanksgiving with Your Senior Parents

It is generally agreed that the Halacha does not prohibit the celebration of Thanksgiving as it is a secular, not a religious holiday.  For Jews across the USA that’s good news. Thanksgiving is a time for family, gratitude and of course, delicious food. If you usually host Thanksgiving for your family, you know how much work it can be to prepare! It can especially be stressful if you are also a caregiver to a senior loved one. Instead of trying to take it all on by yourself, why not take the opportunity to get your senior parents more involved? Here are some tips compiled by our on-site caregivers at Lester Senior Living in Morris County, NJ.

Ask Your Loved One for Input: Involve your senior parents in the very early planning stages for Thanksgiving dinner. Ask for their guidance on the menu, decorations, and any family traditions they would like to incorporate. This will not only make them feel valued, but will also ensure that their dietary needs and preferences are considered the day of.

Delegate Tasks: Don’t hesitate to ask other family members for help on Thanksgiving. Whether it’s setting the table, preparing a side dish, or helping with cleanup, sharing the workload can make the day less hectic for you and your senior parents.

Simplify the Menu: Cut down on choices and opt for a few core dishes that are easier to prepare. While traditional Thanksgiving recipes are delicious, they can be very time-consuming. Consider making just a few family favorites and supplementing with store-bought items to reduce the cooking stress.

Create a Comfortable Setting: Ensure that your home is safe and comfortable for your senior parents. Remove any tripping hazards, provide ample seating, and have a quiet space available if they need a break from the festivities. If this isn’t an option for your home or there isn’t enough time to do this, consider hosting Thanksgiving at your loved one’s senior living apartment. Better yet, ask their community if they can host a Thanksgiving dinner for your loved one and family! We are more than able to at Lester Senior Living (more on this later). 

Share Family Stories and Memories: A holiday spent with family is always an ample opportunity to connect by sharing stories. It’s a great way to bond and keep traditions alive. Even if your loved ones are dealing with memory loss issues, past stories oftentimes serve as a key that unlocks short-term recollections for them. 

Offer Transportation: If your senior parents have mobility challenges, make sure transportation to and from your Thanksgiving gathering is arranged. Consider asking a family member to pick up and drop off your senior parents or arrange a service like Uber or Lyft to ensure they can join the celebration.

Lester Senior Living Makes the Holidays Easier for Seniors in Morris County NJ

At Lester Senior Living, we understand the importance of family gatherings, especially during the holiday season. We offer a supportive and vibrant community that can help make the holidays less stressful for you and your senior loved one.

Our assisted living community provides a range of services, including meal preparation, transportation, and a safe, comfortable environment. If you’d like to arrange a Thanksgiving brunch at our community with your loved one and your immediate family, our team will do everything we can to accommodate. We can assist with meal prep in their apartments or help escort everyone into our beautiful community dining room and have our chefs prepare a most delicious meal! 

To learn more about how we support your senior loved ones and make the holidays memorable for them, please visit us at: https://jchcorp.org