Aging Parents and Thanksgiving

Pretty table
Thanksgiving=Tradition….warmth, togetherness, and ample food. It’s a time-out from the fast-forward, headline-a-minute pace of today–a reminder of olden days, Pilgrims, Plymouth Rock…a celebration to give thanks for what we have and, in today’s unstable world, for those who keep us safe.

Perhaps the tradition means even more to older people who always dress for the occasion. I’m now out here in the West where “come casual,” “it’s casual,” “don’t need to dress up” seem to be the norm for some–or possibly more than I think.

Thanksgiving Turkey

Based on what I see in the super-markets, turkeys–whether fresh, frozen, or brined– hold onto their traditional status as the featured food, although vegans would understandably hope otherwise.

I think it’s safe to say the majority of aging parents aren’t vegan although they may learn from a child or grandchild what a vegan is this Thanksgiving, if they don’t already know.

As we all know and have seen documented so many times, “connections with others” is one of the most important factors in aging well. Thanksgiving connects the generations by just being together as well as through conversation. It also provides opportunities to contribute–in large or small ways–which especially makes older people feel worthwhile, needed. And isn’t that a priceless gift.

I’ve mentioned in past Thanksgiving posts that the oldest guest with a half-steady hand, always gets the job of stringing the cranberry necklace to drape over our cooked turkey before its presentation to the assembled guests.

Dad could never make the pumpkin chiffon pie that Mother continued to make in her mid-80’s. But Dad could string that necklace up until his last Thanksgiving at age 94. With warm wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Turkey w/ Cranberry Necklace

Check out “Newsworthy” (right sidebar). Links to timely information and research from top universities and respected professionals, plus practical information–to help parents age well.

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