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Posts Tagged “Holidays”

Enjoy a Cornucopia of Healthy Meals This Thanksgiving!

healthy mealsIt’s that wonderful time of year once again when tables are laden with all of those delicious traditions: turkey with all the trimmings, sweet potato casserole, pumpkin pie. But for older adults with special dietary requirements, it can be hard to stick to a prescribed eating plan while enjoying the holiday festivities.

If you’re cooking for loved ones with special dietary needs, try some of these healthy recipes that the whole family can enjoy, courtesy of the Arizona home health care team at Nightingale Homecare:

Pumpkin Soup

  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 small chopped onion
  • 1 15-oz. can pureed pumpkin
  • 2 cups vegetable broth, unsalted
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup fat-free milk
  • Black pepper
  • 1 chopped green onion

Heat ¼ of the water in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped onion and cook about 3 minutes, until tender. Add the rest of the water, pumpkin, broth, cinnamon and nutmeg. Simmer for 5 minutes, and then add the milk and cook through (do not boil) until hot. Serve topped with green onion and black pepper.

Balsamic Roasted Turkey

  • 1 whole turkey
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 3 – 4 garlic cloves
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup defatted pan drippings
  • 3 tbsp. brown sugar

Rub turkey with oil, a sprig of rosemary, and the garlic cloves. Place remaining rosemary and garlic in the turkey’s cavity and roast until done. While turkey is resting, deglaze the pan with ½ cup of water and separate out fit with a gravy separator. Warm together 1 cup of defatted pan drippings with brown sugar and vinegar, and drizzle over sliced turkey.

Cranberry Stuffing

  • 1 cup chicken broth (low sodium)
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp. dried tarragon
  • ½ tsp. paprika
  • 18 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup chopped cranberries
  • 1 cup water chestnuts
  • 1 cup chopped apple
  • 10 slices toasted whole wheat bread, cut into cubes

Cook celery and onion in chicken broth in large skillet about 5 minutes and remove from heat. Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl and add in onion/celery/broth mixture. Cover with foil and bake in 2-quart baking dish for 20 minutes, and then uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes.

For more holiday meal tips for seniors, contact the Arizona home health care experts at Nightingale Homecare. We love helping older adults throughout the Phoenix area remain healthy – during the holidays, and throughout the year. We’re available to plan and prepare nutritious meals, provide friendly companionship to brighten each day, assist with personal care needs as well as medical needs met by a registered nurse, and so much more. Call us at (602) 504-1555 to let us know how we can help your senior loved one!

Decking the Halls with Effective Chronic Disease Management

chronic disease managementPull out the sugar plums and figgy pudding: the holidays are here! Many of us have those extra special, once-a-year recipes that simply must be prepared and shared, whether it’s Grandma’s prize-winning roast goose, Aunt Ethel’s pecan pie, or the extended family’s homemade cookie swap. And while these delicacies are certainly a delight, for those struggling with chronic disease management, overdoing them can be dangerous.

Older adults with chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis or other autoimmune disorders may face challenges throughout the year with sticking to a prescribed dietary plan and healthy activity level, and during the holiday season, those struggles can be exacerbated. It’s especially difficult when attending parties and other festive functions to avoid certain foods or feel the need to make special requests, or to have to cut visits short due to pain or fatigue from the disease.

According to Patricia Fennell, MSW, LCSW-R, “Holidays act like a lightning rod where all the physical and social concerns around chronic illness get really highlighted.”

So what’s the best way to find balance between chronic disease management and holiday enjoyment? These tips can help:

  • Plan in advance. Let family members and friends know upfront about any limitations your senior loved one may be facing when planning a get-together – such as the need to keep the visit short if symptoms of the disease are flaring, or any particular food requirements. Packing a few snacks in adherence to the senior’s dietary plan is always a good idea to ensure he or she has a healthy option available.
  • Keep outings low-key. Trying to cram in a full day of holiday shopping at the mall on a busy Saturday afternoon may be more than a senior with a chronic disease can muster. Picking an off-time for shopping together, minimizing purchases and stopping for frequent breaks will make for a more successful outing.
  • Reduce stress. The higher levels of stress inherent with the holiday season can have a profound effect on older adults with chronic diseases. Be sure to set aside plenty of time for relaxing activities, such as stretching out with a good book and a cup of herbal tea, enjoying a board game together, or taking an afternoon nap.

At Nightingale Homecare, our RN-managed care always includes careful attention to the needs of those with chronic diseases through our Pathlink Chronic Disease Management program. We can help seniors and their families enjoy the holiday season to the fullest without compromising their health. Contact us to learn more about our expert Phoenix senior care and chronic disease management services!

Posted in Blog, Phoenix, Senior Health on December 19th, 2016 · Comments Off on Decking the Halls with Effective Chronic Disease Management