It’s summer at last! And nothing celebrates this glorious season better than a barbecue. As you plan a barbecue that includes older people, however, follow these tips to make sure that it’s fun — and healthy — for everyone.
- Think about the menu. Most seniors have some dietary restrictions. In some case, you may know what they are, or can ask. But it’s always a good idea to include overall healthy options, such as low-sodium, low-fat, and sugar-free foods. Today’s there is greater emphasis on healthy eating than ever before, so these “restrictions” are hardly restrictive! Even such barbecue staples as hotdogs are available in healthful form, such as turkey dogs and soy dogs. In the mood for a kebab? Make them with chicken or fish instead of beef. Vegetable kebabs also make a colorful, delicious choice. And don’t just have these on hand for the seniors. You might be surprised to find that the younger crowd also enjoys them!
- Keep the drinks flowing. An icy beer is a barbecue classic, but alcohol is generally a bad idea for seniors, especially since it is dehydrating. Be sure to have plenty of sugar-free drinks available. Fruit-infused water is a healthy, and trendy, option. And encourage seniors to drink! Older people, especially those with dementia, often don’t realize they are thirsty, making them more prone to dehydration.
- Put a cherry on top. Or a watermelon. Dessert doesn’t have to mean ice cream! Take advantage of the bounty of summer, and offer a fruit platter as a healthy alternative to sugar-laden treats. For diabetics, however, even fruit might have too much sugar; consider having sugar-free options on hand.
- Stay cool. Sun exposure is a special issue for seniors, so make sure your older guests have a shady place to sit.
Summer barbecues are perfect opportunities for seniors to enjoy quality time with friends and family. And the benefits of making changes to suit your older guests can extend even further: all these tips are just as relevant for you and your other guests!
Safe summer fun is something Beacon of LIFE, in Oceanport, NJ, takes very seriously.
Beacon of Life is a government-approved PACE program created to provide seniors, their family, caregivers and professional health care providers the flexibility to meet their health care needs while continuing to live in their community.
Beacon of LIFE maintains an interdisciplinary team of professionals who give each client the coordinated care they need. Our staff specialize in working with older people, and work with each client and their family to develop the most effective plan of care.
Our care and services allow people who would otherwise need to live in a nursing home to live where they want — in their own communities, in their own homes.