The ability to adapt to changes in life is essential for seniors, who can expect things to change as they grow older. While your senior loved one might have gotten away with things such as eating unhealthy foods in his or her younger years, he or she may notice that minor changes add up to a big difference in health as a senior. The good news is your loved one can make this a positive thing. Help your loved one make these seven lifestyle changes and enjoy life as he or she ages.
1. Give Up Smoking
It’s not too late to benefit from changing bad habits such as smoking. Seniors who give up smoking experience fewer colds and are less likely to develop complications if they do get sick. Those who smoke should look for cessation support groups to help them conquer the urge to light up.
2. Reduce Alcohol Intake
Research studies tend to go back and forth about whether or not a glass of wine a day is good for seniors. However, it’s known that seniors shouldn’t drink more than that each day. They may also need to drink even less if they take medications that interact with alcohol. Help your loved one explore new beverages that are better for his or her health, such as water infused with fruit.
3. Develop an Exercise Plan
Seniors who have been sedentary need to get moving. If your loved one has been active in the past, he or she may also need to scale down the exercise routine to fit changing abilities. Take a look at senior-friendly exercises, such as swimming and walking, to find one your loved one can commit to doing.
Senior home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.
4. Learn How to Ask for & Accept Help
This is one major lifestyle change that tends to be challenging for independent seniors. However, this is a time in life when seniors need to learn to lean on the support of others. Encourage your loved one to practice asking for help with a single task at home and slowly work his or her way up to accepting more assistance.
If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of in-home care. Montgomery Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.
5. Watch Driving Abilities
No one wants to stop driving, but this may be necessary to protect your loved one’s safety as he or she ages. If you notice your loved one having difficulty with vision or reaction times, encourage him or her to ride in the passenger seat. With transportation services, seniors can get anywhere they want to go without having to experience extra stress from driving.
6. Plan for More Frequent Health Checks
Annual physicals may have turned into biannual visits. Seniors may also need to have more frequent dental checkups. Use a calendar app to stay on top of your loved one’s health visits so you can catch small problems when they’re easier to treat.
7. Make Having Fun a Priority
During the earlier years of adulthood, seniors might have invested their energy into raising families and working. Now they have the chance to just relax and enjoy themselves. This lifestyle change may sound easy, but it does take some effort. Encourage your loved one to be open-minded and explore new hobbies. Your loved one can invite friends over for a meal or send a friendly message over social media. Seniors who make fun a priority tend to have better overall health as they age.
While you’re encouraging your loved one to make healthy lifestyle changes, consider making a few changes that could positively impact your own health. Family caregivers need to care for their own wellbeing. If you’re caring for an aging loved one and are feeling overwhelmed, consider hiring a professional caregiver to provide respite care. Montgomery families who want to prevent burnout can turn to Home Care Assistance. One of our professional caregivers can assist your loved one at home while you take a nap, go to work, run errands, or go on vacation. Call one of our friendly Care Managers today at (334) 593-3988.