Holiday meals can be both wonderful and hectic. Honoring a loved one’s need for quiet as well as connection is key for success. “Sometimes the chaos of the day is too much for someone with physical or cognitive issues,” says Becky Beanblossom, former president of Home Instead Senior Care. Often saying hello to everyone and eating amounts to a full day for a loved one, and it’s best to let them retreat or go home early if they need to, she says. Encouraging them to help plan the menu is also a way to ensure that there will be food available that they can digest. “Just remember, forcing someone to stay when they feel uncomfortable or anxious is just asking for hurt feelings or conflict,” Becky says.
By Rachel Reynolds