Seniors often tend to neglect their health as they get older and less able to care for themselves in the same way that they used to. Depression can be a factor in their negligence. Financial constraints may also be a hindrance for them. As a concerned family member, you may need to step in and help your family member find the motivation and the ability to adopt healthy living habits. Here is a few other things that you can do as well:
Assess the Overall Situation
It’s not uncommon for seniors to eat unhealthy meals and snacks. You can gain insight into the type of nutritional foods your senior family member should be eating from various online sources, including the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. If possible, go grocery shopping with your relative and help them find healthy foods. Invite them to your house occasionally and show them that a healthy meal can be easy to prepare, affordable and delicious.
Benefits of Exercise
A sedentary lifestyle is not beneficial to seniors. Exercising, at a level their doctor determines safe for them, can be beneficial to their overall health. You might need to check out what local exercise programs and facilities are available for seniors. Walking is good exercise. If you live close to your aging family member, setting aside a time to join them on a walk can have some bonus benefits. Not only will both of you get physical exercise, you can enjoy some quality time together.
Don’t overlook the connection between socialization and health. Seniors that live alone often experience depression. Depression may be an underlying cause for neglecting personal care, improper eating habits and negligence with health care. Seek out local organizations such as a senior center that serves meals for seniors at their facility, offers games, craft days, travel opportunities and other activities that provide socialization opportunities for seniors. Libraries, churches and civic organizations are other resources that often have programs for seniors.
Many times, seniors slowly slip into the phase of life where neglecting their health becomes problematic. You need to be observant of the behavior pattern of senior relatives. When you see them procrastinate about or miss doctor appointments or you notice weight loss or a general lack of interest in daily activities you need to step in and help them get on a healthier, more positive course.