As your parents reach their golden years they become more susceptible to illnesses due to their decreasing immunity. Not just that, the risk for chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, and dementia increases too. With that being said, you must take steps to improve the health of your senior parents.
While stopping the aging process is impossible, what they can do is improve the quality of their health so that they’d still be able to live a meaningful and happy life. Improving and protecting their physical and mental health by taking preventive measures is the best thing for them to do to stay healthy and fit.
If you face the same dilemma, this article will teach you the nine ways to improve your aging parent’s health through proper elderly healthcare.
Good nutrition is essential to all people of all ages. However, it’s more needed for the aging ones because their immune system is weaker compared to that of young adults. That’s why it’s of utmost importance that you give them a healthy diet.
What then is a healthy diet? It’s their daily consumption wherein they should have fruits, vegetables, and a good amount of lean meat. Doing so will boost their immunity and provide them protection against harmful viruses and illness-causing bacteria. Fruits and veggies are ideal sources of antioxidants that strengthen the cells’ defense against damage, thus, keeping the body healthy and strong.
Aside from being a good source of antioxidants, some fruits and vegetables are high in fiber, which is essential for the digestion process as this slows down as one gets older.
Another thing to keep in mind is the amount of sugar and fat intake. Note that an aging person is more prone to acquiring diabetes and heart diseases. That’s why it’s crucial to keep track of these factors. Make sure to limit their intake of sugary and fatty meals. These can trigger and promote inflammation and weaken their immune system.
Also, it is important to make sure that they drink plenty of water as they are more prone to dehydration. Doing so will also keep them sharp and active.
Keep them active
Being active through exercising reduces the risk of depression while improving energy and memory. However, it would be best if you make sure that all the activities they’ll be doing are approved by their physician. Doing so can help your aging parent become healthier. Having an active lifestyle is vital for their total well-being.
Not just that, activities that involve body movements, without being too strenuous, can improve the immune system. Thus, this lessens the possibility of infections and inflammation. They can do activities such as walking, biking, short strolls, or swimming. You can always modify the activity to suit their preferences.
Why should your aging parent take supplements? It’s because as a person ages, the body’s capacity to absorb essential vitamins and nutrients is reduced. That being said, most senior citizens can’t get enough amount of these nutrients from their diet. Keep note that vitamin and nutritional deficiency can cause fatigue and weakness. This is where supplementary tablets come into action to ensure that they meet their body’s nutritional needs.
However, before giving any supplementary medicine to your aging parent, make sure that it’s approved by the doctor to ensure that it’s safe. The supplement that they should be taking should match their body’s needs and support their immune system. This includes calcium, vitamins D, B6, and B12.
Stress management is equally important to everyone, especially to the elderly. Though stress is commonly an underrated problem, you must note that this affects an individual’s health.
Consistent stress from pressure and being overwhelmed is called chronic stress. When this happens, the body releases more of the stress hormone cortisol, which increases sugar in the bloodstream. Thus, resulting in the disruption of other functions in the body, such as the immune system. One example of a stress point reported by the elderly is thinking towards the future. Beginning the steps of planning for a senior can cause worry and fear. It is important to have an open dialogue with your senior loved ones to help support them through this.
When a person is always facing a lot of stress, the risk of having high blood pressure and cholesterol increases. Keep in mind that stress causes a massive impact on a human’s heart and may lead to heart attacks.
Let your elderly parents enjoy relaxing and therapeutic activities such as animal therapy, spa treatments, listening to music, and going to the beach to reduce their stress levels.
Consider Their Mental Health
Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are the most common mental health problems that an aging person may face. These are brain disorders that slow down or destroy one’s memory and thinking skills. That’s why it’s very crucial to keep their brains busy.
Brain games such as puzzles, quizzes, and problem-solving activities that stimulate their minds can help lower the risk of these diseases. Doing so can keep them entertained while also enhancing their memory and thinking skills.
Rest is one of the most important things to keep in mind to keep a healthy and robust body.
Having a good and adequate amount of sleep can lessen the level of stress and ensure that the body can repair itself. In addition to strengthening their immunity, getting enough rest also boosts their memory and concentration. That’s why it’s also equally important as the other factors.
If your aging parent has trouble sleeping, it’d be best to seek help from a physician. Usually, there’s an underlying cause, such as insomnia due to too much caffeine or lack of physical activity, or worse it can be a symptom of some medical condition, including restless leg syndrome or sleep apnea.
Regular Physical Check-ups
As mentioned above, an aging person’s immunity is much weaker than that of younger people, making them more susceptible to sicknesses and diseases. Thus, it is imperative you take preventive measures such as vaccinations (influenza, shingles, and pneumonia) and health screenings.
Health screenings to test cholesterol levels, heart status, sugar levels, and more are just some of the preventative things that your aging parent must have periodically. Doing so will make sure that all the problems in the body are addressed early before they become more serious.
- No Contact To Sick People
Avoiding contact with sick people is equally important as the preventive measures listed above. Usually, people don’t tend to realize that this is a crucial factor, especially for the elderly.
No matter how careful they are with their diet and health care, it doesn’t exempt them from the possibility of being infected and contaminated by others. Always keep in mind that prevention is better than cure.
That’s why as much as possible, never allow sick people to be near them. This might be easier said than done, but you need to do it for their welfare. It would also be better if future visitors wear a mask to ensure that they don’t spread viruses to them.
For instance, if there’s a flu outbreak in your community, make sure to keep them from going to crowded places or don’t allow visitors in the meantime. Not just that, those who are taking care of them should do the same to ensure that they’re safe and lessen the risk of contamination.
Washing hands and wearing a mask are also good ways to limit the spread of possible viruses and diseases.
- Dental Check-Ups Every Six Months
Last but not least, oral health is also an important factor to keep track of as this also affects their quality of life.
Oral problems such as tooth loss, dental cavities, periodontitis, gum disease, and xerostomia are just some of the many dilemmas that an aging person might encounter. That’s why it’s strongly advised that they visit their dentist regularly to have their oral health checked.
The aging process will always be a part of a person’s life. However, it shouldn’t stop one from living a happy and meaningful life.
Seeing your aging parents enjoy their golden years is genuinely priceless. That’s why it’d be best to help them maintain a healthy and strong body amidst the aging that comes their way.
Yes, there’ll indeed be changes when it comes to their physical and mental health. However, there are effective ways in which you can improve and maintain the quality of their life.
Considering the nine tips stated above will undoubtedly help you give your senior parents happier and more enjoyable golden years.