Tips for Staying Healthy as Loved Ones Get Older

Tips for Staying Healthy as Loved Ones Get Older

You may be concerned about the health of elderly family members or loved ones. Chronic disorders such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, arthritis, cancer, and dementia become more common as people age. The good news is that by implementing and sustaining a few basic behaviors, older folks can live longer and healthier lives. It's crucial as a family member to support healthy living practices in your loved ones – it's never too late to start!

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Changes in healthy behavior can help older persons live more independently later in life. That is critical for both their and your quality of life. If a family member loses their freedom, whether due to disability or chronic disease, you may find yourself in a caring role sooner than intended, which can have an impact on both family dynamics and money.

So, what can you do to assist the older persons in your life in managing their health, remaining as independent as possible, and maintaining their quality of life as they age? Continue reading to discover about four ways to encourage and maintain healthy habits in the lives of your elderly loved ones.

Stop social isolation and loneliness.
People tend to spend more time alone as they get older. Poor health, the death of a partner, caring for a loved one, and other conditions that become more common as individuals age can all lead to social isolation or loneliness.

Although they may sound similar, social isolation and loneliness are not the same thing. Loneliness refers to the painful feeling of being alone or separated, whereas social isolation refers to a lack of social contacts and having few people with which to communicate on a daily basis. Increased social isolation and loneliness are linked to an increased risk of health problems such as depression, heart disease, and cognitive decline, which is a decline in one's capacity to think, learn, and remember.

You can play a vital role as a family member in assisting the older persons in your life to remain socially engaged. Here are some ways you can contribute:

Schedule phone conversations or video chats on a daily, weekly, or bimonthly basis.
Encourage them to join a garden club, volunteer organization, or walking group to meet others who share their interests.

Encourage physical activity.
There are numerous advantages to incorporate physical activity into your everyday routine. Exercise can help reduce stress and anxiety, improve balance and minimize the chance of falling, improve sleep, and alleviate depression symptoms. Most crucially, people who exercise frequently not only live longer lives, but they may also live better lives, which means they have more years of life with less discomfort or handicap. On the other hand, a lack of physical activity can result in more doctor visits, hospitalizations, and an increased risk of certain chronic illnesses.

Encouraging the older persons in your life to exercise may not be simple — getting someone to start a new hobby can be difficult — but the benefits are well worth the effort. Here are some ideas to encourage exercise or other forms of daily movement:

Encourage your loved ones to participate in a variety of activities, such as aerobics, strength training, balance, and flexibility. This could be going for a walk around the block, lifting weights, gardening, or stretching.
Discuss how much activity is recommended and how they might incorporate it into their daily lives. Experts recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week, as well as muscle-strengthening activities on at least two days per week.
Assist them in purchasing proper exercise attire and equipment. Remember that many activities do not necessitate the purchase of pricey equipment. For example, instead of using a treadmill, people can use filled water bottles as weights for strength training or walk outside or at a mall.
Please share your favorite physical activities. Is there anything you two could do together? If so, that's a plus because you're not just encouraging physical exercise but also preventing loneliness and social isolation.
Find out more about the various sorts of workouts and examples to get you started.

Encourage good eating habits.
Healthy nutrition is a crucial aspect of aging well. Eating healthy, like exercising, is about more than just losing weight. A good diet can assist support muscles and bones, which can aid with balance and independence. A balanced diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean proteins can also help enhance immunity and reduce the risk of certain health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and some malignancies.

Two elderly people working together to prepare a nutritious supper.
While sharing meals based on traditional family recipes can be meaningful, those favorite foods can also be high in harmful fats and sugars. It can be difficult to change long-held habits, but before you realize it, you may have some new favorite items on the table! Consider the following suggestions to help your loved ones include a healthy diet into their routines:

Take them to the food shop to select nutritious options.
Discuss their favorite traditional recipes and whether you can make them healthier by swapping olive oil for butter or yogurt for sour cream, for example.
Once a week, pay them a visit and prepare a healthy lunch together. Consider preparing extra and storing leftovers in individual servings for later in the week.
When you visit, look into their refrigerator and pantry. You can look for healthy alternatives and make sure they aren't ingesting expired food or liquids.
Encourage them to discuss their diet and any vitamin and mineral supplements they may require with their doctor or pharmacist.

Schedule regular doctor's appointments.
Regular health checks and medical tests are essential for your elderly loved ones. Learn more about health checks for men and women at Medical Clinics. Annual doctor visits, and maybe more frequently depending on overall health, may help reduce disease risk factors such as high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Regular check-ups can also help detect problems early and increase the likelihood of effective treatment.

Some people visit their doctors on a regular basis, while others avoid such appointments at all costs. Here are some ideas for assisting your family members' medical appointments:

Encourage them to contact their doctor right away if they are having discomfort or new symptoms.
Inquire about their forthcoming doctor's appointments, especially any specialists. Do they have all of the necessary appointments planned and highlighted on a calendar? Do they require assistance in booking appointments?

Offer to drive them there, or even accompany them and take notes.

Inquire about communication with their medical professionals. Are the doctors answering their questions?
If necessary, assist them in managing their prescriptions. Check that they keep a current list of their prescriptions, including prescription and over-the-counter medications, as well as any supplements, and that they share this list with their health care professionals.

Ask your elderly relative if they would be fine with you or another family member having access to their medical records and speaking with their doctors. This could assist them in keeping track of their appointments and meds.