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Bringing Back Sunday Dinner

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With our modern lives being so busy, the art of the "Sunday Dinner" has been lost.  For many older adults, Sunday dinners were always a time of family celebration: enjoying a delicious meal surrounded by loved ones, sharing each other's lives and having spirited conversations.  These moments are what our senior loved ones remember fondly. As seniors age they are oftentimes longing for traditions such as these, to help them get back in touch with their children's lives and build new memories.  We at Home Instead Senior Care believe that the "Sunday Dinner" is more important now than ever. 

Taking the time to sit and enjoy a few hours with family and friends is something we can participate in and benefit from. Family dinner is a team effort – at least, it should be. When the whole family pitches in, the hosts will likely feel less pressured and everyone becomes part of the action.

Seniors can sometimes feel left out of the planning as well as the dinner itself, especially if health and mobility issues have impacted their ability to assist. The following six suggestions can help seniors stay involved in this familiar family activity as they age:

  1. Check in with your older adults before dinner and ask them to select a favourite recipe that you could serve. If there's a story behind the recipe, ask your senior to share it at dinner.
  2. Make sure your loved one has rides to and from the family dinner.  Be sure to make any special food, seating or bathroom accommodations that might be needed.
  3. If your loved one is up to it, ask him or her to arrive early (or arrange to have them there early). Perhaps they can still peel potatoes or frost the cake. If nothing else, suggest he or she sit and chat while you're cooking, or give advice from the sidelines.
  4. Seat your senior guests in a place where they are most likely to participate in the conversation. 
  5. Set aside time for your older loved one to share a story from his or her life or tell about something interesting that has happened recently.
  6. Ask any children in the group to bring something special for their loved one, such as a handmade card or a school project to show.


Making this a part of your family's weekly routine and including your senior loved one will have a positive effect on everyone.  This is especially true for the senior who looks forward to sharing these treasured moments.  


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