5 Methods for Inspiring Your Older Parent to Drop Unhealthy Habits

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Many older adults are set in their ways, which makes it very difficult to break unhealthy habits. If your aging parent is no longer as healthy as he or she used to be and you want him or her to make some changes, you’ll need to come up with a comprehensive plan. Here’s a look at five tips you can use to help your parent break unhealthy habits and enhance his or her overall quality of life.

1. Lead by Example

While it might sound unusual, your parent might not heed your advice if you’re unhealthy as well, which is just one of the reasons you should stick to a sensible diet, exercise a few times a week, and get plenty of sleep each night. When your parent notices how good your health is, he or she might decide to make some changes as well. At the very least, your healthy habits are going to boost your energy levels and make you a better caregiver. 

Part of a healthy lifestyle for family caregivers involves self-care and making time to attend to their own wellbeing. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Montgomery, AL, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.

2. Ask the Doctor for Assistance

Some seniors won’t listen to any advice unless it comes from a medical professional. Your parent’s primary doctor probably has some tactics for encouraging seniors to choose healthy habits, and he or she will be able to share concrete medical data with your parent and provide actionable tips on how to live a healthier life. You might want to ask the dentist and eye doctor for some tips as well.

3. Come Up with Nutritious Meal Plans

If your loved one won’t change his or her unhealthy eating habits, offer to make a weekly meal plan with him or her. Quite a few seniors have very unhealthy diets simply because they aren’t comfortable cooking on their own. At the start of each week, you can sit down with your loved one and come up with a few fresh meals he or she might enjoy. You might also want to go shopping for your loved one or do some of the prep work so the meals won’t be as difficult to make. 

A professional caregiver with training in nutrition and healthy habits can be a wonderful source of information and encouragement as your loved one adopts new healthy habits. Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust Montgomery elderly home care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life.

4. Encourage Socialization

A recent study funded by the National Institute on Aging revealed that socializing with peers can boost a senior’s health. Seniors who regularly socialize with friends and loved ones have better mental health, increased cognitive function, and decreased stress. Having a tight-knit group of peers may also encourage your loved one to get out of the house. Isolation is a common problem among older adults, and it can have a major impact on their health and wellbeing.

5. Keep an Eye Out for Emotional Illnesses

According to the CDC, just over 2 million American seniors live with some form of depression. Your parent might have unhealthy habits because he or she has some type of mental or psychological illness. Some of the most common signs of depression include irritability, social withdrawal, apathy, and a lack of self-care. If you’ve noticed any of those warning signs, encourage your loved one to speak with a mental health specialist.

A professional caregiver can provide additional support for your efforts to help your loved one adopt a healthier lifestyle. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of at-home care. Montgomery families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s 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. To hire a dedicated caregiver, call us at (334) 593-3988 today.

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