Growing older comes with certain struggles. One of the most difficult things to worry about when aging in place is losing your mental and physical capabilities.
Our bodies are designed for a particular amount of time to live, and when we pass that number of years, our lives start to change. One of the first things to go is our ability to be independent of a physical standpoint.
This causes growing older to be a full-time job. You have to watch for signs of aging so you’re prepared when that time comes. But what does that mean, you might be asking?
Thankfully, we’ve got the guide for you. Keep reading to learn about how to help your aging parents stay healthy.
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Family support can be provided through open communication and being aware of what activities and hobbies your senior parents are engaging in. Make sure to discuss any health issues with your parents and their doctor and encourage them to take medications and get necessary check-ups.
Spend time with them and offer to do activities such as grocery shopping and other errands that may be too difficult for them to do on their own. Provide them with whatever resources they may need, such as a life alert system or fall detection device. Taking control of your parent’s health care and considering nursing care at home can help them live a better, more carefree lifestyle.
Perform regular home safety inspections, ensuring rugs are secure, electrical cords are tucked away, and furniture is sturdy. For increased safety, install tamper-proof or lockable doorknobs, windows, locks, and chains. Check outlets and light fixtures to ensure the wiring is up to code and not a fire hazard.
Keep smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in working order with fresh batteries. Clear walkways of obstacles, clutter, and snow or ice, and place nightlights in dark hallways and stairs.
It is essential to regularly schedule check-ups with a primary care physician and specialists for chronic conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease. These visits should be accompanied by well-packed lists of questions regarding any health concerns or changes. It is also important to stay on top of vaccinations and screenings and review any new medications and medical interventions that may be recommended.
Cognitive health can be improved through simple activities such as increasing mental stimulation, promoting memory retention, and engaging in conversation. Stimulation can be added by completing daily brain-teasers or puzzles, reading a book, playing board games, or creating art. Memory retention can be promoted by having a set routine and repeating everyday tasks.
Additionally, partaking in conversations as much as possible with them can help improve cognition as it encourages them to think, express thoughts and opinions, and share stories. Encourage your parent to engage in activities they enjoy, like cooking, gardening, or socializing with friends, to help stimulate their brains and enhance overall cognitive health.
As they age, they may experience changes in their ability to walk, balance or move around. Engaging them in light physical activities like walking, swimming, and stretching will keep them safe and healthy by improving strength, balance, and coordination.
Utilizing assistive devices such as walkers and canes can also be beneficial and help them to remain independent. Finally, recognize when your aging parents need additional help for any mobility-related needs and provide support to ensure their safety and well-being.
As their physical and cognitive skills diminish, the daily hygiene task can become difficult or even frustrating for them. Begin by keeping their bathroom safe and easy to access; try to have grab bars, toilet seat risers, and non-slip rugs or mats to prevent any falling incidents.
Help your aging parents take baths or showers regularly and brush their teeth with a soft, comfortable brush after every meal. Ensure they wear clean, loose, comfortable clothing and cut nails regularly.
Additionally, help them stay active, provide nutritional snacks and meals, get outside for fresh air and sunshine, gamble with music and social activities, and limit sweets and alcohol. Ensure all their medications are taken as prescribed and they are up to date with their medical appointments. If requested, help them seek advice from a medical professional regarding personal hygiene concerns.
Meal preparation can be a great way to ensure your parents get the proper nutrition they need. Start by talking to your parents about the types of meals they like and their daily diet. Once you better understand their nutritional needs and culinary preferences, you can begin to plan and cook nutritious meals for them.
Ensure that these meals include a variety of lean proteins, fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. Additionally, consider preparing large batches of food that can be frozen and quickly reheated when needed. You can help your aging parents stay healthy and in good shape with well-planned meals.
It is vital that they can connect with people, even if it is over the phone or through video chat. If appropriate, help them join a senior community group or find meeting places to socialize. One of the best ways to help is by arranging regular visits. Ask them about their interests and help match them with others who share them.
Go for walks together, consider taking a class together, or invite others to join your family outings and celebrations. Staying socially connected is crucial in giving your elderly parent a sense of well-being and keeping them mentally, physically, and emotionally healthy.
Take Action Now To Ensure Your Aging Parents Enjoy Their Daily Lives!
Aging parents often need more care and support as they become more vulnerable. We can help keep them safe and healthy by setting up regular doctor’s appointments, ensuring their healthy living space is secure, being an active listener, and encouraging an active lifestyle. Do all you can to provide your parents with the best support and ensure they remain healthy and safe.
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Last Updated on April 3, 2023