Helping an Elderly Loved One Make Healthier Decisions
By Beth Brown 9 am on
When seniors have maintained unhealthy habits for many years, Palm Beach, FL, caregivers may have a difficult time convincing them to start down a healthier path. However, there are a few things families can do to encourage their aging loved ones to start making choices with their health in mind.
Start with Education
Many seniors make unhealthy lifestyle choices because some of the research findings available today did not exist when they were younger. Your loved one might still believe certain foods or daily habits are completely healthy even if science has recently proven otherwise. Depending on how receptive your loved one is to the idea, you can begin by renting documentaries on healthy eating practices, subscribing him or her to lifestyle magazines, and starting up casual conversations about unhealthy habits.
Don’t Be an Enabler
We all want the time spent with our loved ones to be special, but it is important to start reducing the amount of unhealthy meals and drinks available at family gatherings. Instead of bringing over processed snacks and sugar-laden desserts, you can start making minor changes to the foods you share with your loved one. Even though it might take some experimentation, you’re likely to find healthy foods your loved one enjoys just as much the unhealthy alternatives.
Focus on the Positives
Seniors don’t want to hear every decision they make throughout the day negatively impacts their health. As an alternative, try to focus on the healthy habits your loved one is maintaining and what they are doing to enhance his or her quality of life. You can also talk about the effects clean eating and exercise are having in your own life.
Suggest Small Lifestyle Changes at First
Major lifestyle changes don’t happen overnight, but you can focus on encouraging smaller steps to eventually lead your loved one in the right direction. Cutting out soda or another unhealthy habit once a month is much more practical than eradicating all processed sugar from the diet at the same time. Some of the other small steps your loved one can take include normalizing his or her sleep schedule, walking for 20 or 30 minutes a day, tracking water intake, and reducing the amount of caffeine consumed every day.Even if your loved one has made unhealthy decisions in the past, he or she can start working toward a healthier lifestyle with the help of Home Care Assistance. Our proprietary Balanced Care Method encourages seniors to eat healthily, exercise regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity. For more information on home care Palm Beach seniors can count on, call one of our knowledgeable Care Managers at (561) 429-8292 today.