December 11, 2018

Healthy Aging Tips for Family Members Caring for Senior Loved Ones

 Healthy Aging Tips for Family Members Caring for Senior Loved Ones




Are you caring for an aging loved one and wondering how to keep them thriving, healthy, and happy? Seniors can enjoy the golden years of their life if they follow a few basic steps to prevent serious mental and physical health issues. So, get ready to help your older loved ones live their best lives yet with these helpful tips.


Find Ways to Keep Seniors Social


One of the biggest threats to senior health and happiness is one that is fairly easy to prevent: loneliness. Social isolation can make your older family members feel cut off from society and can often lead to depression. You can prevent social isolation for your senior loved ones by investing some time to help them find ways to get outside of their home. Get them connected to local senior centers and organizations, look into setting them up with a roommate, or maybe move them a little closer to your own home. However, when moving is not an option, you can still stay connected with your senior loved ones. Make sure they have a senior-friendly cell phone so you can call, text, or video chat with them on a regular basis.


Encourage Them to Exercise Every Day


Exercise can be a bit more challenging for seniors, especially if they suffer from arthritis or other chronic pain conditions. However, daily activity can help improve your loved one’s pain symptoms, as well as providing a boost to overall health and wellness. A lack of exercise can make joint pain worse by weakening important muscles, so make sure your loved one gets in some gentle exercise on a regular basis; good exercise options for seniors include yoga, resistance band training, and walking. Help your senior loved one stay motivated by picking up some basic home gym equipment for them. Dumb bells of varying weights, a slip-proof exercise mat, and set of resistance bands should be all seniors need to keep themselves in shape.


Keep Their Brain Healthy and Sharp


Brain health is also important for senior vitality, especially if your loved one has a family history of dementia. While not completely preventable, you can take steps to slow the progress of memory and cognitive function loss in older adults. One method is to make sure plenty of healthy fats are included in their diet. Many seniors have found success using the Mediterranean diet to keep their mind strong. Just like any other part of the body, the brain needs a little workout as well. One report shows that working on puzzles can help stimulate brain function in older adults in addition to providing stress-relieving fun. But any games that challenge the brain, from crosswords to Sudoku, can help keep your senior loved ones sharp.


Prevent Falls Inside Their Home


According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “falls are the second leading cause” of death and injury for seniors around the world. New Zealand has taken some positive steps in reducing falls in the elderly, from encouraging more exercise to educating the public. However, falls are still a health risk for most seniors, so you have to make sure you take precautions to keep your loved ones safe. Since most falls occur inside the home, focus your fall-prevention efforts there. Have grab bars installed in tubs and showers, or convert traditional baths into more accessible walk-in options. In terms of lifestyle changes to prevent falls, this is another reason for older adults to exercise. Strength training and regular workouts can help strengthen muscles, balance, and flexibility, all of which can keep seniors from falling.


Getting older does not have to mean life will get boring. By taking the time to make sure they stay healthy, stay connected and stay in shape, you can help your older family members thrive in their golden years and make the most of some of the best years of their life.


Article Credit: Karen Weeks


Photo Credit: Pixabay

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