Gobble Up Our Thanksgiving Action Plan for Senior Hosts

Gobble Up Our Thanksgiving Action Plan for Senior Hosts

Are you a senior hosting Turkey Day’s main event? Thanksgiving is right around the corner. It’s a day to eat some good food, watch a parade, catch a football game, and make some great memories. Last year, 292 million Americans gathered to enjoy this yearly feast. For 2021, you can expect to see more than 700,000 turkey lovers joining this number, according to Finder.com[1]. While entertaining company can be stimulating and good for seniors, it can also be tiring. With this in mind, you may want to consider looking for ways to simplify your Thanksgiving holiday. Doing so can help you save energy and give you more time to spend with your family.

You may also want to consider an emergency response solution to keep you safe while you prepare for the holidays. There are five different systems to choose from so you are sure to find one that suits your specific needs and lifestyle. While hosting Thanksgiving can be a bit strenuous, a medical alert system can help keep you safe and these twelve tips can help simplify your celebration preparation so that you can conserve your energy.

12 Tips to Simplify Your Thanksgiving


1. Plan the Day

One of the best ways to ensure that any event or project runs smoothly is to plan it out ahead of time. Some areas you will want to plan out include:


  • What dishes do you want to have?
  • What ingredients do you need?
  • Do any guests have dietary restrictions?

Preparing the Food and Timing

  • What dishes can be made beforehand?
  • What dishes can be prepared by other guests?
  • What is the best order to prepare the foods based on cooking time and meal progression?

Cleaning and Decorating

  • What areas of your home need to be cleaned?
  • Do you want to decorate? If so, when will you do so?

Number of Guests, Place Settings, Sleeping Arrangements

  • Do you have enough seats for everyone?
  • How many people do you have to cook for?
  • Are any out-of-town guests coming to your house? Do they have a place to sleep?

Once you have a plan set in place, you can simplify your tasks by following your to-do list.

2. Shop In Advance

There are plenty of tasks that you can take care of in advance to limit the amount you have to do on Thanksgiving Day. One task you can take care of ahead of time is shopping. Make a list of all the ingredients you need and shop for them a week or two before Thanksgiving Day. When you get your shopping done ahead of time, you can have some time to rest and relax before resuming other Thanksgiving preparation tasks. Be sure to budget a little extra for dinner this year as well. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that frozen turkeys are costing 17-26 more cents per pound than they did last year. [2]

While you are out running errands, it is important to be safe. An Alert1 mobile medical alert pendant can help you accomplish this. If you happen to fall or experience any type of emergency while shopping, you can easily press the button on the device to be instantly connected to a monitoring center. When the emergency response agent comes on the line, you can talk to them through the built-in 2-way speaker and you will receive the help you need.

You can also add GPS or fall detection options as well. The GPS can help your emergency response agent pinpoint your location so they can send help exactly where it needs to go. The fall alarm button for seniors can automatically contact Alert1’s 24/7 monitoring center when it senses a fall. There is no need to press a button and the agent will send help even if you can’t respond. This ensures that you will always receive assistance when you need it most.

3. Make Some Dishes Early

Some dishes on your Thanksgiving menu can likely be prepared a day or two ahead of time. Doing so will save you some time on Thanksgiving day. Some dishes you can make ahead of time include:

  • Casseroles
  • Coleslaw
  • Cranberry sauce
  • Bread/rolls
  • Desserts
  • Some specialty drinks

When you get as much as you can done ahead of time, you will have more time and energy to enjoy the holiday with your guests.

4. Plan Breakfast Ahead of Time

While Thanksgiving is generally all about dinner, you will still want a healthy breakfast to get you through your cooking tasks. Choose something light and nutritious such as fruit, eggs, oatmeal, or a granola bowl. If you have guests staying over, ask them if they are comfortable handling breakfast for themselves so that you can focus on preparing the main meal.

5. Make Sure the Kitchen Is Clean and Organized

When trying to cook and navigate in the kitchen, ensuring that the kitchen is clean and organized makes tasks run much more efficiently. You don’t have to struggle to find a place to put hot dishes on the counter or find the tools you need. Be sure to get your kitchen clean and organized before the big day:

  • Clean off the countertops
  • Organize drawers and cabinets
  • Make use of hooks and racks to organize cookware
  • Empty the dishwasher
  • Empty the trash cans

Be sure to wear a personal alarm button for the elderly while cleaning and organizing your kitchen for Thanksgiving. If you are bending or crouching around the kitchen, a simple misstep can knock you off balance and lead to a fall. If you are wearing a medical alert necklace, you will simply need to press the button to contact a certified emergency response agent to get whatever help you need. Even if you are unable to talk, they will stay on the line with you until help arrives.

6. Get Helpful Tools for Cooking

On average, meal prep for Thanksgiving dinner takes Americans seven hours! [3] Having the right tools can save you a significant amount of time and energy in the kitchen. They can make your cooking process more efficient, not just on Thanksgiving, but on a daily basis as well. Some helpful kitchen tools you may want to consider include:

  • Meat thermometer
  • Turkey baster
  • Brining bag
  • Turkey rack
  • Good carving knives
  • Disposable aluminum pans
  • Potato masher
  • Sturdy mixer
  • Food storage containers

With the right tools, you can help streamline your cooking process.

7. Set the Table Early

Setting the table is a simple task you can take care of the night before or even a few days before if you don’t need to use the table for anything else. It is also a simple task that even children can do. If you want to save some energy and there are others around, delegate the task to someone else.

8. Choose Simple Recipes

There are hundreds of Thanksgiving recipes online. If you want to make your Thanksgiving cooking process as easy as possible, search for simple or easy ones. You know best what tasks may be too strenuous or tiring for you, so keep searching until you find one that suits your abilities and personal preferences. Be sure to consider dietary restrictions for both yourself and your guests as well. For instance, you may want to look for low sodium meals, soft meals, or healthy meals for seniors with essential nutrients.

9. Keep the Number of Dishes to a Minimum

The fewer the dishes you have make, the less time and energy you will need to spend cooking. Limit your Thanksgiving dinner to just the family’s favorite or most important dishes. You will also have fewer dishes to clean up after the mean and will have more time to spend with your family.

Preparing multiple dishes and then cleaning the dishes afterward can be a tiring activity. Consider an Alert1 emergency alarm button for seniors. Having one will give you peace of mind that you have an instant and convenient way to get help whenever or wherever you need it.

There is no need to find your phone, search through contacts or dial multiple numbers—you simply press a button. You may also want to consider a fall detection device for seniors. This device can automatically contact a certified emergency response agent for you when the fall detection sensor within the device registers a fall.

10. Ask Others to Prepare Certain Dishes

Ask guests if they can prepare any dishes. The more people you get to contribute, the less you will have to do yourself. Try to give them an option of dishes they can make. People are more likely to help when they get to choose what they would like to do. If they don’t have a preference, figure out which dish would take the most weight off your shoulders.

11. Skip Some Traditions and Decorations

Some traditions and decorating take up time and effort that you may not have to spend. If they are very important to you or someone in your family, try to find a way to keep them alive. Ask someone else to handle the task or modify it in some way. For instance, if you usually play a specific game, ask someone else to set it up or find a game that requires less effort. If you can’t decorate at the same level that you typically do, try to find simpler ways to make your home festive. For instance, choose festive napkins or place settings instead of hanging up lights and garland.

12. Consider Ordering Out

If you don’t want to cook at all, consider ordering out. Make sure your favorite restaurant is open and place your order in advance. Some grocery stores and restaurants also sell kits with pre-made food that simply needs to be reheated. This can help you greatly limit the amount of preparing you need to do. You can also order food the day before Thanksgiving and then reheat it on the big day.

Have a Safe and Special Thanksgiving

After Thanksgiving, don’t forget to stay active to burn off all those extra calories. According to Consumer Reports, Americans take in a whopping 3,000 - 4,500 calories at their Thanksgiving meals. [4] Consider a medical alert watch to keep you safe while you exercise. Alert1’s emergency alert watch is a lightweight tool that can track your steps, report the weather, and contact an emergency response agent for help whenever and wherever you may need it, 24/7/365. It is the perfect tool for seniors to have while working on their fitness goals.

Thanksgiving is all about eating good food, making memories with your loved ones, and being grateful for what we have. Everyone at Alert1 wishes you a safe, happy, and healthy holiday!



1 Wells-Barrett. Oct. 2021. American Thanksgiving Turkey Spend. Finder.com. Turkeys Are Estimated to Cost Americans Nearly a Billion Dollars for Thanksgiving 2021.

2 US Department of Agriculture staff. Nov. 2021. Agriculture Marketing Service. Turkey Market News Report.

3 Summer Place Apartments staff. Nov. 2019. Thanksgiving By the Numbers: 10 Fun Thanksgiving Stats. Summer Place Apartments. Thanksgiving By the Numbers: 10 Fun Thanksgiving Stats.

4 Consumer Reports staff. Nov. 2018. Diet & Nutrition. Consumer Reports. How Many Calories Are in Thanksgiving Dinner?