Celebrating July 4 With Seniors
So here we in the dead middle of the summer, which means parties are going to be happening non-stop and gatherings will feel like they are going on forever. The biggest party day of the year is coming up, which is the 4th of July. For many of us it is an exciting day filled with food, drinks and our best friends.
While we are busting out the Kan-Jams and turning the music up in our backyards, let’s keep in mind some of our friends who will be attending may be older than the rest of us. While older adults still love 4th of July as much as any other generation, they may like things a certain way. When you are setting up, just keep a few tips in mind for friends who are older adults.
Summer can be a scorcher, which can be a problem for anyone. But for older adults, extreme heat can be more than just uncomfortable – it can cause some serious health issues including death. Certain medications have side effects which can intensify with extreme heat. According to Jessica Krant, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and a member of Consumer Reports’ medical advisory board, “When we say that a medication causes photosensitivity, we mean that it causes a chemical change in the skin that makes it react abnormally to the sun’s ultraviolet rays,”
Also keep in mind when sitting in the hot, hot heat of the sun, there may be guests who have been exposed to an extreme amount of sun in the past and now suffer from certain skin conditions. They may have been advised by doctors or dermatologist to stay out of the sun.
To address these concern, make sure to have seating that is in a shaded area or offer inside accommodations. You may also want to keep some fans outside to create a cool breeze. For those who are trying to avoid the sun, have sunscreen available (and not just for the seniors but for all guests!) and maybe, to keep it festive, have goofy 4th of July visors for guests to avoid those rays! Providing shaded, cool areas and having sun protection on hand will ensure that you’ll be able to keep the party going!
Now that you have the place set up and ready for guests, it’s time to start cooking some grub!
What’s a party without the classics – potato chips, hot dogs, burgers and other delicious picnic foods. However, many of these foods may not be the best picks for older adult guests due to high blood pressure, diabetes and other health conditions. This can be tricky to accommodate the request of guests without giving unappealing options. We have learned a couple tricks along the all the food we serve meets the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) for seniors and still keeps it tasting great!
Kane Senior Council is fortunate enough to have a licensed dietician on hand to help us plan what we serve. Many people may not have this kind of knowledge available when they are planning a menu for a party. That doesn’t mean you don’t have access to nutritional information and healthy recipes. Pinterest, food blogs and even Facebook are great places to find recipes for anyone who may have dietary restrictions. We have provided some recipes below that will make great additions to your cook out that won’t put a damper on anyone’s appetite.
- CHIPOTLE LIME CHICKEN THIGHS – We found a great recipe for this dish at Taste of Home. They also have 90 other recipes for diabetics.
- APPLE PIE – What is more American than Apple Pie?! Check out Diabetic Gourmet Magazine’s recipe for an all American favorite – apple pie!
Keep in mind also that many sodas, juices and alcoholic beverages contain massive amounts of sugar. These are a hard pass up for anyone who may have diabetes or other dietary restrictions. Make sure to always have cold water available. If you want to spice up your water, use fresh herbs such as mint or basil to step it up. You can also add cucumbers, lemons or even low sugar fruits like strawberries to plain old water.
Going the route of canned beverages may be easier to keep stored in coolers or ice buckets can mean less prep work than flavored water. If you are going to purchase canned beverages, opt for a sugar-free or diet options. Popular drinks for those trying to watch the amount of sugar they are drinking include sparkling water, sugar-free lemonade, and unsweetened iced teas. Still be sure to read the ingredients of the drink to make sure there isn’t an artificial sugar and other harmful additives. Drinks that should be avoided are regular soda, sweet teas and fruity alcoholic beverages. Always keep fresh fruit juice on hand just in case of of people experiencing low blood sugar but it shouldn’t be offered as a main beverage.
All that is left, is to spark up the grill, bust out the can koozies out and watch the fireworks.
Just a quick reminder our main offices will be closed on July 4th and several nutrition location sites will be closed on July 5th. Make sure to check out our Facebook page for any closings that may occur during the holiday. Also if you notice that grandma, mom, dad or grandpa may need a little extra help, give us a call. We are always there to lend a helping hand through services and other resources Kane or DuPage County may have to offer.
Happy 4th of July everyone!