Besides taking care of ourselves, we all want to make sure that we take care of our family as much as possible. Many of us focus on giving our young ones the best start to life possible, but what about the parents who wanted the same for us? If you’re concerned about an aging parent’s health as they become more dependent and perhaps more vulnerable, what can you do to help manage their health, stay in control, and stay happy?
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Can You Help Older Loved Ones Stay Healthy And Happy?
Join in their health kick
A healthy diet, a good night’s sleep, and physical activity remain as important to your health regardless of what age you are. You are much less likely to develop the chronic diseases that become more common in later life and can maintain your physical mobility and independence by focusing on fitness. If you have an older loved one that could use some healthy lifestyle changes, one of the best ways to help them is to lead by example. Make it clear you’re making some changes of your own and invite them to join in. You can find low-impact exercises that might be better suited to them if they haven’t worked out in some time. Making dietary changes together will make it more likely that you stick to the program, as well as avoiding the exclusionary effect of saying that they, specifically, need these changes.
Know when they need care
It can be a delicate subject, but you have to know when to bring up the idea of getting care and helping to maintain their lifestyle. Letting someone who is unable to take care of themselves live alone can be dangerous, so you have to pay attention to the signs that your help alone may not be enough. With an In-Home Care Provider like careforfamily.com.au/ your parent may be able to stay in their own home or yours for as long as he/she wants to.
Another option may need to be life in an assisted living facility, which is not “being put out to pasture” like many older adults might fear. There is personal care, therapy sessions, and a greater focus on helping to maintain a measure of independent living.
Be there to help
Many of us might have the experience of an older relative such as a parent, aunt/uncle, or grandparent being hesitant or downright stubborn about seeing the doctor when they truly need it. If you’re concerned, you can offer to go with them. You can be there to offer support, to ask questions, and to help interpret information that they might not readily grasp. You can also offer help in day-to-day life by setting reminders of medication they may need to take or appointments that they should keep. If an older loved one has trouble tracking and keeping up with the medical information and advice they receive, they are likely to be frustrated and have a more negative experience of medical care in general. A little help can change their outlook significantly.
How much you are able to help your aging loved ones stay healthy and happy depends, of course, on how willing they are to accept your help. Make it clear that your primary interest is helping them stay in good health for longer and try not to make them feel self-conscious or defensive about their own capabilities.
This is a contributed post.
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