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How to Have a Safe and Fun Thanksgiving with Elderly Loved Ones During COVID-19

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and given the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of families are celebrating the holidays differently this year. Whether you’ve chosen to keep Thanksgiving small and intimate this year or still plan on visiting family, you can still connect with your elderly loved ones and extended family. Here’s everything you need to know to keep your family safe while still having fun this Thanksgiving.

If you’re skipping the big family gathering

Share and deliver food

You and your elderly loved ones can still enjoy a home-cooked Thanksgiving feast together even if it’s not in person. Prepare meals and deliver them to your loved one’s house, just remember to limit the number of people in the food preparation area. You can enjoy the meal together over video conferencing!

Virtual Thanksgiving

Hop on Zoom or another video conferencing site to share a meal with your loved ones virtually. Make it more fun by choosing virtual backgrounds so you can be calling in from “anywhere.” If your loved one isn’t able to use an application like Zoom, check out this Daily Caring article that lists alternatives and senior-friendly technology that allows you to connect virtually.

Send a Card

Show your loved one a little extra love this Thanksgiving by sending them a card, especially if you aren’t able to celebrate with them in person. It’s a simple, inexpensive way to show you’re thinking about them. 

If you’re still planning on having a family gathering

If you’re still planning on having your elderly loved ones and extended family over for Thanksgiving, here are some precautions to take that will make the gathering safer.

Get tested and quarantine beforehand

Try to quarantine for two weeks before the big event (that means you should be quarantining now!) It’s also a good idea to get tested the week of. Don’t know where or how to get a COVID test? Find testing near you here.

Keep food preparation safe

Limit the number of people preparing and serving the food. Pot-luck style dinners are known to be big spreaders of the coronavirus, so the less amount of people involved in cooking and serving, the better. 

Bring your own food

If you’re particularly worried about the germs spread through food preparation, you can encourage family members to bring their own food.

Order from a local restaurant

Don’t feel like cooking this Thanksgiving? Order a Thanksgiving meal from a local restaurant. It’s safe, easy, and a great way to support a local business during the pandemic. 

Follow COVID precautions

Have a conversation with your family members beforehand about expectations for Thanksgiving. Ensure everyone wears a mask, washes their hands, and maintains social distancing. If the weather permits, eat outside! 

Whether you’re keeping it small and intimate or still gathering with loved ones, you can still have a safe and fun Thanksgiving. My family is ordering Thanksgiving dinner from a local restaurant and video conferencing with my grandparents. Please take pictures of how you’re celebrating Thanksgiving this year and tag CarePenguin in your posts!