The holiday season presents challenges for all of us in terms of eating well, drinking in moderation, and getting exercise. Caregivers tending to patients have the additional obstacle of keeping their charges healthy throughout the season.
Students can learn about how to talk to patients about staying safe and healthy this time of year. Some fundamental areas to educate students in include eating well, getting exercise, and safety practices.
Keys to Happy, Healthy Holidays
1. All things in moderation. In addition to unwanted weight, decadent holiday meals and desserts can create other health complications. Being overweight or obese increases the risks for heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Teaching patients to practice moderation in their diet is more effective than trying to make whole types of food or drink taboo.
Making sure lots of healthy food is to hand can help, things like fruits, vegetables, string cheese, and nuts. Allowing one “cheat” food a day is another good compromise. If students are curious about what proper portions look like, Pocket Nurse offers the “How Much” series of solutions that clearly show the real amounts of sugar, fat, and salt in common foods and snacks.
2. Get mobile. While patients with health conditions are not necessarily motivated to go to the gym, they can learn how to integrate movement into their daily lives to help keep them healthy. Playing holiday music while cleaning and decorating is a fun way to get the feet moving. If patients have issues with balance, teach students to use gait belts.
3. Staying safe. It’s also a good reminder that safety risks abound this time of year, from slippery sidewalks, to rickety ladders, from sharp-cornered toys, to choking risks. Remind patients to slow down, assess their surroundings, and not take unnecessary risks. Emergency rooms will be filled with lots of people who leaped without looking.
4. Preventative care. Finally, a reminder about well visits and flu shots would not go amiss this time of year. Preventative care such as vaccinations, mammograms, and annual physicals can prevent high health care costs down the line.
With some precautionary steps, the holidays can be a joyful and fun time for everyone, from children to great-grandparents. We here at SimTalk Blog and Pocket Nurse wish you a safe and healthy holiday season.