How to help your elderly parents remain healthy and independent

Category: Health 75

As our parents age, it’s natural to worry more about their physical and mental health. We want to help them to live happily and independently for as long as possible, but are not always sure about the best ways to do this. With that in mind, here are some top tips to make things easier for both you and your loved ones.

 

Promote healthy eating

A balanced diet is key for everyone, but as people get older and their calorie needs decrease, it’s easy for them to miss out on key nutrients. Encourage your parents to eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, and avoid having too many sugary snacks. It’s also important that they don’t consume too much salt, as this can increase their risk of suffering from high blood pressure or heart disease. Why not accompany your parents on their weekly shop, or bring over some pre-made meals for them when you visit? Cooking together can also be a great way to bond.

 

Make any necessary adjustments to their home

One way to ensure that your parents can continue to live in their own home for as long as possible is to make certain adaptions to the property. For example, you could install a stairlift, or put in motion sensor lights to prevent them tripping in the dark. Power-assisted rising chairs can be great for helping seniors to sit down and stand up with ease. Bathrooms are a key area to focus on, and getting the help of a professional company such as beautifulbathroom.net ensures a top quality result that’s still visually appealing.

 

Focus on loneliness

Social isolation and loneliness are actually among the biggest issues facing older people, and can raise the risk of dementia, depression, and premature death more generally. As such, it’s important to stay in regular contact with your elderly relatives, and encourage them to socialize by attending events in their local community. For instance they might enjoy a book club, coffee mornings, or hobby group.

 

Help them to keep mentally active

Staying mentally active is crucial for our brain health and cognitive functions. There are many different ways your parents can do this, from special brain training games to everyday activities such as crossword puzzles and reading widely. Mentally stimulating hobbies such as learning a new language, playing an instrument, or taking up a new craft can also be hugely beneficial for memory, attention span, concentration and mental acuity.

 

Encourage them to stay physically active

Physical fitness is just as important for seniors as it is for young people. Being active can reduce the risk of a number of health conditions such as diabetes and cancer, as well as increase strength and balance. This in turn makes it less likely that your parents will suffer a fall. Exercise is also a great mood booster! It doesn’t mean that elderly folks need to hit the gym though – try suggesting your parents take regular walks, or pick up an active hobby such as gardening. There are also special fitness classes for older people, which have an added social benefit.

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