I can’t believe Thanksgiving is only a few short weeks away. Yes, I said this about Halloween. Yes, I’ll probably say it about Christmas. I’ve written quite a bit about holiday preparations for older adults. I decided to put together a quick holiday checklist of things you may not have previously considered for the holidays this year.

Thanksgiving holiday feast with a turkey in the foreground and pumpkins in the background.

Where and Who

Hopefully you’ve figured out where you’re going to have your holiday celebration this year, and who is hosting them. This point is more about back up plans. Depending on the conditions each older adult may have, your situation may completely change between now and Thanksgiving. Have your backup plan ready, and consider having a caregiver come for the day for extra support.

Evaluating Changes Over the Past Year

I’m talking about physical, dietary, and even cognitive changes over the year since last Thanksgiving. Think about these not just for older adults, but for everyone in attendance. Maybe a grandchild was too young to help with dinner last year but this year they’re old enough to at least help with a salad. Maybe somebody became vegetarian or vegan. This could apply to any number of situations. Someone could have been diagnosed with diabetes within the year. Thinking about all these life changes ahead of time and planning accommodations for them is crucial. I recently wrote about diet changes during the holidays, here’s some questions that I proposed asking yourself.

  • How many people have restrictions?
  • What kind of menu changes have to be made? Are they small changes or do whole dishes need to be removed?
  • How disruptive to the meal will removing certain dishes be?
  • Have you talked to the rest of the attendees of this holiday dinner about necessary meal changes?

Will Someone Need Extra Help

You may not need a caregiver for the day, but what if you need help setting up. We do offer light housekeeping services, you could also invest in paying a housekeeping service. We can also send a caregiver in for just a few hours to help with food prep or helping the older adult. Things to think about:

  • How much help does the person in question need on a daily basis?
  • Will the people at the gathering be willing and able to provide that help?
  • Does the person in question want their family providing that help (this is very important)?
  • How much more help will the person need doing their regular holiday tasks?

These questions will help you determine if you need professional support. I hope you have the very best holiday season! What should I write about next?


Written by Brigid Stakelum