After many decades of living the way they want, many aging adults mistakenly believe that it’s too late for them to get fit or to change their bad habits for healthy ones. The reality is that it’s never too late to embrace those habits touted by lots of scientific research that reveal health benefits at any age. Family caregivers can partner up with their elderly relatives to incorporate healthy habits into their daily lives and shine the spotlight on senior health.
Aging adults really do need help from family caregivers in helping them make such significant lifestyle changes. If the elderly adult has a senior care provider or other family members that helps them throughout the day, they also need to be brought up to speed on the new and improved healthy habits. With a strong support group, any elderly adult can take small steps toward boosting their health and yield big results.
It’s one thing to say that they want to be healthier, but that doesn’t provide much of a plan on how to accomplish that. Seniors and their family caregivers must outline specific health goals that they want to achieve, then come up with concrete ways to do so. For example, if an elderly person decides they want to have more energy, they and the family caregiver can focus on doing some age-appropriate exercise and getting a better night’s sleep. Here are some of the areas where aging adults can usually make some small improvements, then add more over time.
- Avoid processed foods and junk food snacks.
- Eat a nutritious diet that focuses on fruits, vegetables, lean protein and whole grains.
- Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water every day.
- Drink alcohol in moderation and avoid all drugs.
- Stop smoking or chewing tobacco.
- Get as much restful sleep as possible every night.
- Attend regular medical checkups.
- Take prescribed medicines regularly and correctly.
- Be as active as possible, ideally with exercise at least three days per week.
- Take multivitamins as recommended by a doctor.
- Plan several social activities per week to prevent isolation.
- Make safety modifications, such as bright lighting on the stairs and grab bars in the bathroom.
- Hire a senior care provider for in-home care.
- Consult a therapist for any emotional trauma or grief.
Many of these healthy habits depend on the aging adult’s current health and ability to do things on their own. However, even seniors that depend primarily on family caregivers and senior care providers can take big steps toward a healthier life with their assistance. The support they get from family caregivers, family members, friends, and senior care providers can encourage them to really focus on healthy aging habits.