If you are a family caregiver for an elderly loved one who lives alone at home, the upcoming holidays will mean you’ll want to make sure that their home is safely decorated. Putting out all of the holiday décor is a big part of making a home feel festive and welcome. But with an aging loved one, you also need to make sure you are not creating any undue risks that may cause harm to them during the holiday season. Elder care can help ensure your senior’s safety during the holidays.

Before you break out all of those crates of holiday decorations, take some time to review these safety tips first.

The Christmas Tree

If your elderly loved one enjoys having a tree to hang all of her favorite ornaments from, make sure the tree is safe. One of the very first things to do is to determine which kind of tree your loved one will have – real or artificial. A real tree requires extra care so that it doesn’t become a fire hazard. Will your loved one be able to water it daily to keep the branches from drying out or should you ask an elder care provider to come to the home to help with this chore? If an artificial tree is chosen, make sure you choose one that is fire-resistant so that if any of the lights happen to get too warm, it’ll be less likely to catch fire.

Finally, don’t forget, that real or artificial, the tree should not be closer than three feet to any fire sources (like the fireplace or the stove), and nothing with any actual flame should be used on or near the tree (such as candles).

Holiday Lights

Holiday lights are a great way to make a room or home festive for the season. Choosing the right lights for both inside and outside is important. Only indoor lights should be used indoors and only outdoor lights should be used outdoors. If shopping with an elder care provider for new lights, they should read the labels and make sure the right kind is purchased.

Remember to watch where those cords are for lights as well. Often holiday lights are hung in places where there aren’t outlets nearby (like around windows or door frames). Have your elder care provider help by taping down all cords and making sure no cords cross a walking path.

Holiday Candles

Your loved one may love a candle scented with pine or cinnamon over the holidays, but make sure she remembers to only burn the candle when she’s awake (always snuff it when leaving the candle) and to be careful where she places it when using it. A candle should not have anything near it that could potentially catch fire if a draft were to cause the flame to grow.

Following these rules will ensure your loved one remains safe and injury-free throughout the season.


If you or an aging loved one is considering elder care in Plymouth, MN, and the surrounding areas, please contact the friendly staff at CareBuilders at Home Minnesota. Call today 612-260-2273.

Your dad loves pies, but he’s on a low-fat diet. Traditional pie crust is loaded with butter, oil, lard, or shortening. He can still celebrate Great American Pie Month with these tips and healthier fillings.

Start With a Nut Crust

Make your dad’s pies with a ground almond crust instead of a traditional crust. Use a food processor to grind up nuts for the crust or purchase almond flour. To 1 ½ cups of almond meal or flour, add 2 tablespoons of almond milk, a tablespoon of honey or maple syrup, and 2 tablespoons of almond butter. Press that into a pie pan.

Use other nuts like walnuts and pecans in place of almonds. You can also use a mix of nuts if desired.

Make Low-Fat or Non-Fat Fillings

Take your dad’s favorite pies and turn them into healthier pies. Here are a few ideas.

#1 – Chocolate Pie

Does your dad love chocolate cream pie? Cut 13-ounce square of silken tofu into cubes and place in a food processor. Boil 1/3 cup of espresso and pour it over 16-ounces of unsweetened chocolate chips. Place that pan or bowl over a double boiler and stir until the chocolate is melted.

Pour the chocolate mixture over the tofu and puree until smooth Add ¼ cup to ½ cup of honey or maple syrup to sweeten the chocolate-tofu mixture. Pour into the almond crust and let it chill overnight.

#2 – Apple Pie

Peel and slice six apples and place in a saucepan. Add ¼ to ½ cup apple cider for sweetness, a teaspoon of pumpkin pie seasoning, and a teaspoon or two of vanilla bourbon. Bring that mixture to a boil and reduce to a simmer. If there’s too much liquid, a little cornstarch and extra apple cider can help thicken it.

Simmer the apples for half an hour until they’re soft. Pour the mixture into the almond crust and refrigerate overnight.

#3 – Banana Cream Pie

Bananas are great in that they’re already sweet. Mash four ripe bananas with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch. Stir in 1 teaspoon of vanilla and 1 ½ cups extra creamy oat milk. Bring that to a boil and stir until thickened.

Pour the banana filling into the almond crust and let it chill overnight. Top with a non-fat whipped cream before serving.

Does Your Dad Need Help With Meals?

Support your dad at home by making sure he has help preparing healthy meals. If he has never mastered cooking and relies on takeout and frozen meals, elder care services are important.

With elder care services like meal preparation, your dad eats well without struggling to cook. Caregivers cook his meals for him, do the dishes, and can even join him for the meal if he hates eating alone. Call an agency to learn more.

If you or an aging loved one is considering elder care in Plymouth, MN, and the surrounding areas, please contact the friendly staff at CareBuilders at Home Minnesota. Call today 612-260-2273.