One of the things caregivers want for their older family members is to see them age in a healthy manner. Of course, many older adults have health conditions that cannot be cured. However, that doesn’t mean they should simply give up and not try to stay as healthy as possible. September is Healthy Aging Month, a great time to take a closer look at your aging relative’s lifestyle and consider taking these 4 steps to help them achieve more health as they age.
1. Incorporate More Whole Foods.
Scientific studies have shown that eating a diet that consists mainly of whole foods can improve overall health. It may reduce the risks for heart disease, Parkinson’s disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. Eating a diet based on whole foods isn’t really accomplished by following a specific diet plan. It involves filling the senior’s plate with more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. You also reduce the amount of fatty meats, butter, sugar, salt, and processed foods they eat.
Some older adults may not eat as many whole foods because they can take more effort to prepare. Elder care providers can help to plan healthier meals, assist with grocery shopping, do the cooking, and even clean up the kitchen afterward.
2. Get 30 Minutes of Physical Activity Per Day.
Exercise is important for keeping bones and muscles strong. It also keeps the brain healthier by improving blood flow, which delivers more oxygen to the brain. It may even slow the progress of Alzheimer’s disease.
Experts suggest that walking 30 minutes per day is a good way to fit in physical activity. An elder care provider can encourage your older family member to walk each day. If the older adult has balance or mobility problems, having an elder care provider along on their walk can prevent them from falling.
3. Keep Up Social Interactions.
Research shows that being lonely increases risks for depression and dementia. Social interaction can include spending time with family and friends or being involved in community activities and volunteer opportunities.
Elder care providers can drive older adults to volunteer jobs, friend’s houses, or community events. They can also help the senior to entertain people in their home by helping to clean the house and prepare refreshments.
4. Keep a Positive Attitude.
Believe it or not, living with a sense of optimism and gratefulness could help your aging relative to live longer. Studies show that people with a positive attitude are less likely to suffer heart attacks and depression.
The cheerful manner of an elder care provider can be contagious. Simply having someone around who has a positive attitude may help change the attitude of a negative senior.
If you or an aging loved one are considering hiring professional elder care in Birmingham, AL, call and talk to the staff at Lipford Home Care (205) 623-5700.