As we prepare to give thanks and gather around the table…I remember. I remember that it was just last Thanksgiving that we experienced a “first” in our community. It was the first time that all 16 of our residents were out with family at the EXACT same time. It was a strange feeling for the folks that were working that day. I remember them calling to tell me about it. Oh, there is always plenty to be done and the staff was happy for the residents to be spending quality time with family and loved ones. It was just a new first for our community. What about you? Is this the first year that you will be planning Thanksgiving after having moved a loved one into an assisted living? Are you concerned with all the preparation and worried about the visit? Here are a few tips to help you stress less and enjoy Thanksgiving with your elderly loved ones.
Schedules and Timing
As much as you don’t want to plan out every little detail, you do want to give it some thought. Remember that if they are residing in an assisted living they may now be accustomed to a more structured routine. You will want to check with the staff regarding medications and proper protocol. You want to be sure to keep everything on track.
Food and Options
Our residents live very active and independent lifestyles. They enjoy making their own choices and directing their care. But it is important to consider their dietary needs. Be mindful of food options. Remember if Mom doesn’t need the extra salt or Dad needs alternative dessert options.
One of the most common comments I hear from families is that they are shocked when not long after eating ….the elderly loved one is ready to go back to their community (new home). Now naturally this makes an administrator very happy that a resident has come to feel comfortable in their community. But don’t let it make you feel down. Remember they have gotten on their own time schedule. They are enjoying your company, but like many people after a gathering may need some rest.
As with all time together…just enjoy. Make it special but don’t put too much pressure on your family member or yourself (for that matter) to meet unrealistic expectations. Incorporate them into the conversation. Maybe call ahead of time and get their special recipe for a favorite dish. Spend time talking, relating and making treasured memories. Savor these moments together and you ALL will come away from the gathering feeling grateful.
This week we shared some delicious fresh strawberries from our local folks at Backyard Orchards. They were absolutely divine! Not only were they tasty…they were delivered right to our door from one of the owners! Talk about sweet! And since National Pick Strawberries Day is coming up on May 20th, I decided to share some health benefits and a strawberry dessert recipe from one of our residents.
Now I have been obsessed with strawberries since my days as a young girl in the 80s playing with my Strawberry Shortcake dolls. (Yes, I may be giving away my age.) But I had no idea how good they are for you! According to organicfacts.net, strawberries have many nutrients, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that contribute to overall health. These include folate, potassium, dietary fiber and magnesium. They have 150% of your daily requirement of Vitamin C in a single serving! Together, these components are responsible for the overwhelming health benefits of strawberries. Here are 6 of the Top Health Benefits of the Strawberry
- They boost your immune system. Want to stay well and fight off sickness? Eat a healthy diet, rich in this healthy fruit.
- They reduce the risk of eye related ailments. Strawberries are helpful because of the potassium they contain that helps our eyes maintain the right pressure.
- Strawberries have even been shown to help maintain normal blood pressures!
- They lower the risk of arthritis, gout and cancer.
- Strawberries have been shown to help regulate proper functioning of the nervous system.
- They also can help prevent heart diseases and reduce cholesterol.
Those are all wonderful reasons to eat strawberries! And if you are like me and are drawn to desserts with the delicious fruit…here is a link to our website with a finger licking favorite that is perfect to feature your fresh strawberries and just screams summertime.
Gardens of Daphne resident Shirley Hartley loves sharing her baking skills. She has her very own recipe book called “Squirrelly Shirley Cookbook Specials” that has sold over 300 copies. Here is one of her strawberry favorite recipes that she wanted to share!
Mother’s Strawberry Cake
1 box white cake mix
1 small box strawberry Jello
1 cup oil
1/2 cup of milk
1 cup of frozen strawberries, thawed (do not drain)
1 cup chopped pecans
Mix first 4 ingredients. Mix in eggs, one at a time. Add strawberries and pecans. Pour in greased and floured pans and bake at 350 degrees ( 9″X13″ pan for 40 minutes) or (Two 9″ pans for 20-25 minutes)
1 stick of butter, softened
4 cups of confectioners sugar
Combine until smooth-Add 1 cup of strawberries thawed and drained and 1/2 cup chopped pecans
Many of us have fond memories of visiting our grandmother’s house and of the delicious smells that greeted us when we entered the kitchen. Pies of apple, pecan, chess, sweet potato and oh, let’s not forget chocolate! Our grandmother’s almost always had our favorite desserts when we visited.
As adults those memories of our childhood visits to our grandparents are special. Not only were we surrounded by love and care, we often had wonderful meals too. As adults ourselves, we understand the love a grandparent has for their grandchildren.
As we celebrate Great American Pie month in February, it’s a great time to locate those treasured recipes and recreate our grandmother’s special desserts. Don’t have the recipe to your favorite foods from your grandmother? Now is the time to visit or give her a call and get the recipe. Best of all would be to go visit and make the special recipe with your grandmother. The memories you make will be priceless.