Following a healthy lifestyle can boost a senior’s quality of life and increase longevity. As a family caregiver, you need to encourage your aging loved one to make healthy lifestyle choices to help him or her remain independent. Here are some tips you can use to motivate your parent to adopt a healthy lifestyle.
1. Develop a Realistic Plan
Seniors need to start off slowly and incorporate healthier choices as they go. For instance, if your loved one starts a new diet, wait a couple of weeks to introduce a new exercise routine. This way, he or she can work on one lifestyle change at a time. You can also give your parent realistic timeframes pertaining to letting go of bad habits. If your loved one smokes cigarettes, he or she may not be able to stop immediately. Motivate him or her to stop smoking a little more each day, eventually quitting the habit altogether.
If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of elder care. Our caregivers provide transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping.
2. Explain the Benefits
Learning about the advantages of a healthy lifestyle could motivate your loved one to give up bad choices going forward. Explain how eating healthy, staying physically active, visiting the doctor, and socializing with others can boost heart and brain health in addition to lowering the risk of developing insomnia, infections, and a variety of age-related conditions.
3. Customize the Plan Accordingly
The lifestyle choices other seniors make may not be the best options for your parent. Make a few changes based on your loved one’s current health, abilities, schedule, finances, and other important factors. The less difficult the process seems, the more motivated your loved one may be to adopt a healthy lifestyle instead of meeting you with resistance.
Family caregivers should provide support according to their loved ones’ unique needs. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of home care service. Montgomery families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet their elderly loved ones’ unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.
4. Make the Changes Together
To make adopting a healthier lifestyle a little easier for your parent, consider making the same changes in your own life. If you have time, schedule a few days each week to go over meal prep with your loved one, go to the gym together to work out, and plan fun outings that boost mental, physical, and emotional health. You can also attend doctor appointments and support groups together.
5. Celebrate Milestones
When your parent loses weight, celebrate the accomplishment. If he or she has gone a month without eating sugar and processed foods, commemorate this milestone. After each health screening, treat your loved one to dinner or a trip to the spa. It doesn’t matter how small the lifestyle change is or how long it has been since your loved one made the choice. Celebrating each goal and positive change may motivate your parent to keep going.
6. Be Empathetic
Adopting a healthy lifestyle isn’t always easy for seniors. At times, it may cause them to lash out at others while they adjust to their new reality. If this happens, remain calm and empathetic. Continue to offer support to your parent, even when he or she displays negative behaviors. Remaining calm may encourage your loved one to stay focused.
For some families, caring for a loved one can be overwhelming at times. Luckily, they can rely on professional respite care. Montgomery, AL, Home Care Assistance is a trusted name in respite and hourly care. Our caregivers are available around the clock to assist seniors with bathing, transportation, medication reminders, exercise, and much more, allowing families the time they need to focus on other important responsibilities or just take a break. For more information about our flexible, customizable home care plans, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at (334) 593-3988.