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How To Help Elderly Parents With Their Health

As your parents get older, they will be more at risk of developing health issues. You might need to play a part in making sure that they remain healthy and free of wellness problems. To ensure this there are a few steps that you can take. Here are some key suggestions for you to keep in mind. 

Remember, when it comes to elderly parents it’s not just about physical health issues. You also need to think about mental health issues as well with many cognitive problems becoming far more common as people age. 

quick tips & fast facts

Key Suggestion #1 Help Them Maintain Their Independence

One of the first steps you should take is ensuring that you are helping your elderly parents maintain their independence. A big part of this will be addressing the level of care that they need. In some cases, your elderly parent might be able to continue living at home for years with only minor levels of support. As such, you won’t have to explore 24/7 care solutions. In other cases, such as cognitive decline, you may need to think about moving your elderly parent to a care facility.

If your elderly parent is able-bodied with good cognitive ability then for them to be able to continue to live at home you might need to think about making some changes to the property. To do this, you need to think about the hazards that might be apparent. For instance, you should consider the stairs. While it’s easy to get up and down stairs when you are younger, as you age it can become challenging. Luckily, there are ways to deal with this. You can install a stair rail or add a stairlift. Obviously, there might be costs to consider, but the installation of such implements will eliminate the potential of your elderly parent falling down stairs. 

Another change you might want to consider is making some changes to the bathroom. This is another area where an accident is more likely. To overcome this, it’s easy to add some grab rails around the bathroom. Or, you could think about installing a brand new bath with a door. This will make it far easier for your elderly parent to get in and out of the tub without any help, while also avoiding the potential for a serious injury. 

Key Suggestion #2 Think About Diet

As you get older, it’s important to make sure that your body is getting everything that it needs daily. This can be quite difficult for an elderly individual to do. Cooking takes a lot of work and effort, which we often overlook. For an elderly person who is having issues with mobility or struggling to stay standing for more than a few minutes, cooking can quickly seem impossible. One of the ways that you can help is by making sure that you are going to your elderly parent’s home on a regular basis and cooking a meal for them. That way, you can make sure they are getting a healthy, wholesome meal, at least once a week. You might also want to think about exploring services that can be beneficial. For instance, there are food delivery services where the food comes prepared. 

By using a food preparation service, you take out a lot of the work and effort out of cooking for your parent yourself. Instead, your elderly parent will just need to focus on putting the food that they are having for dinner in the oven and serving it. These services and solutions are more budget-friendly then you might imagine too. They certainly won’t break the bank, particularly if you shop around for the right service. 

Key Suggestion #3 Exercise Options 

You also need to make sure that your elderly parent is exercising and that they’re doing their workouts the right way. You might think that once you reach a certain age that exercise is going to be difficult, and in some instances, it can be more challenging. But there are ways to deal with this problem. For instance, you can explore guides online for exercises that will be suitable for individuals over a certain age. You could also encourage your elderly parents to workout with you. By making it a sharing activity, it will mean that they are more likely to do it and keep up with their exercise routine. 

Elderly exercising can be as simple as going on a leisurely stroll a few times a week; this can be more than enough to keep the blood flowing around the body. You might also want to think about trying different types of exercise. For instance, swimming can be great for elderly parents. The main benefit of swimming is that it puts less pressure on your joints and bones. It can also be great for losing weight. So, if your parents have gained a little weight this could be a fantastic choice. 

If your elderly parent is going to be working out alone, then you might want to think about investing in the right technology. The best smart watches these days can track a range of different key variables. Specifically, they can ensure that your elderly parent knows exactly how much exercise they have completed in a day and whether they are on track to meet their goals. Again, this type of tech is affordable and would make a great gift for your elderly parent at any time through the year. 

Key Suggestion #4 Keep Socialising 

Research is ongoing into the causes of dementia. Experts are keen to discover the reasons why certain people develop dementia, while others avoid it completely. This is quite difficult because there are over one hundred different types of dementia. Some develop more rapidly, and others are barely noticeable. However, most researchers agree that this condition is tied to socialization. A lack of socialization can lead to cognitive decline. Particularly, if elderly individuals aren’t engaging in regular conversation.

A big factor that can impact an elderly parent’s ability to socialize is mobility. If their mobility is impacted by an injury or disability, it’s always going to make it harder for them to interact and connect with other people. That’s why you should make sure that you invest in long-term transportation for them. With the right mobility scooter, they will be able to get around and see friends or family, even when you are not there to help them. 

You can also think about signing them up to different social groups. For instance, you should get them engaged in activities that keep their mind and body active from bingo to physical therapy sessions. This can help them engage with people of a similar age, which is particularly important if they are single or widowed because they are going to have no one to talk to and interact with around the home. 

It’s important to also be aware that a range of factors can have an impact on an elderly parent’s ability to socialize, and this can make it more difficult for them. For instance, they might be experiencing issues with their hearing. If they are, this can make starting a conversation or continuing a conversation awkward and uncomfortable. That’s why you should make sure that they are getting checked regularly. It might be up to you to ensure that their hearing isn’t left untreated. 

Of course, sometimes, ensuring that they socialize is just about making sure that they connect with you and your family. You might need to make sure that you pick them up each week and bring them around to your house. Take them out and go shopping with them to ensure that they get everything they need in their weekly shop. Anything that helps you spend time with them is worth exploring. Let them interact with their grandchildren and include them in family trips. If you do this, then you should be able to avoid the signs of cognitive decline for a lot longer. 

Key Suggestion #5 Oral Health

The oral health of your elderly parents is important. So, while it is easy to assume that they are going to lose their teeth, some elderly parents won’t. Plus, there are many more benefits to going to the dentist regularly than just checking that your teeth are in good shape. Issues with your teeth can lead to permanent issues with your jawbone and the overall structure of your face. A dentist will also be checking for the signs of oral cancer. Again, this does become more likely as you age. So, make sure that your elderly parent is attending their dentist appointments. 

By following these key suggestions it is hoped that you can assist your elderly parent as they age, and that you can help them to preserve their health. If you take the right steps, then you should be able to guarantee that they have the best quality of life.

So, while it can be quite daunting to take this role in your parent’s life, it can be for the best. Plus, you will ensure that your parents get the support that they need. It’s also worth understanding that your elderly parent might resist this type of help at first. But over time, they will appreciate your care and consideration.

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