Every child feels obliged to look after their parents as they age. It is an overwhelming but rewarding responsibility. However, it can be exhausting if your parents have special age-related care and maintenance needs. But you cannot leave them unassisted. Negligence can be dangerous for their well-being. Thus stay in close coordination with them. Look after their healthcare maintenance, dietary, and housing needs if they are unfit and can not pay for their expenses. If you cannot support them at home, facilitate them with nursing home care or other caregiving options, but make sure you always stay in touch.
This article further explores tips to help your elderly parents live healthily, so keep reading.
- Assess, understand, and facilitate them
Before bracing yourself for caregiving responsibilities, know what sort of assistance your parents need. Ask them how you can support them. If they hesitate to respond, observe and assess their health and well-being needs. Understand their health risks, aging complications, and age-related healthcare management and maintenance needs. Accompany them to a doctor whenever possible. If your parents cannot live independently, discuss aging-related caregiving options with them, such as in-home caregiving, nursing homes, and assisted living. You could also help them manage their legal matters, such as inheritance, will-making, retirement, and healthcare insurance. Or help file a lawsuit if your senior is a victim of occupational negligence and misconduct. Occupational negligence is a triable offense if your parent suffered health-hazarding consequences, such as injuries or exposure to harmful chemicals during their working years. But these matters can be complex, so ask the relevant experts before getting into a legal fight. Refer to the Simmons Law Firm for more information. They specialize in mesothelioma lawsuits, but you can also seek consultation about other negligence cases.
- Screenings and blood tests
Healthcare issues are not exclusive to aged people. Genes, lifestyle, environment, and carelessness can affect everyone. But older people are more vulnerable and cannot afford to be negligent regarding their health. They need more vigilance to keep their health on track. Thus regular healthcare checkups and consultations are essential preventive measures. Screening and blood tests can detect healthcare issues at early stages and help minimize further complications. Thus if your parent is vulnerable to age-related diseases, you can take proactive and preemptive measures to reduce risk factors. Studies suggest that screening, imaging, and interventions like mammography can reduce breast cancer risk by up to 20% in women aged fifty and older.
Similarly, prostate-specific antigen tests can help detect prostate cancer and delay the mortality rate in men by ten years. But these are specialized tests, so do not take action before consulting an expert. Keep their healthcare expert in the loop and ask for recommendations.
- Peaceful and convenient house environment
Sleep and rest are vital for everyone at all stages of life to help the body and mind function. Sleep deprivation can increase risks for several health issues for individuals, regardless of age. Younger people may overcome and recover from the side effects of sleep irregularities and sleep deprivation. But not getting enough rest may lead to serious health issues in older adults. Thus facilitate your parents with quality care and rest. Communicate with their healthcare specialists to understand their health and well-being needs and adjust their living space to minimize complications in their daily routine. Create a peaceful and relaxed home environment where they can rest well.
- Balanced diet
A balanced diet means consuming foods that help fulfill nutritional requirements, including carbs, proteins, vitamins, and minerals. Strict diet restriction is not necessary and recommended as long as you eat within your daily caloric demand and get the required macro and micronutrients. The equation remains the same in old age as well. You can guide and assist your parents to eat certain foods in moderation, such as greasy, salty, sugary, and spicy food. But avoid strict restrictions on their diet. They can eat everything if they do not have health issues such as diabetes that restrict their diet. The point is to create a healthy diet plan for them, including more vegetables, fruits, dry fruits, and essential vitamins and minerals.
- Physical activity
An active lifestyle is essential for all ages to stay fit. Physical activity helps the body and brain function healthily. An inactive individual is prone to healthcare issues, such as obesity, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, hypertension, stroke, heart disease, and cancer. Aging again increases risks for other healthcare issues, such as musculoskeletal deterioration, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, and sleep disorders. Physically inactive individuals are 20–30% more prone to premature death. But physical activity helps minimize these risks in older age. It helps improve appetite, boost the immune system, and stabilize blood pressure and blood sugar. It slows aging and improves musculoskeletal strength, balance, and coordination. Hence, encourage your parents for regular exercise for at least 20 to 30 minutes. Arrange safe workout facilities for them, such as training with a physical trainer or senior gym membership.
- Conversation and coordination
We long for connection at every phase of life. But we feel a strong urge to minimize our emptiness as we age. Conversation is one way to connect with people and share your thoughts, experiences, and worries. It can have a therapeutic impact on mental, emotional, and physical health. Conversation also helps identify and understand what your parents need and want. They may hesitate to communicate their concerns and worries if you remain distant and aloof. Communication gap can affect their health and well-being. Thus spend time with them, listen to their thoughts, and help them unclog their minds before bed or whenever they feel low. This way, you can also know how they are doing, even if they hide their worries and healthcare issues. You can also be transparent and share your concerns and worries about their health and well-being. Talk about sensitive topics like age-related health risks, healthcare maintenance, and nursing care.
Old age is a vulnerable phase. The body loses strength and stamina and becomes prone to several healthcare issues. Even occasional blues can destabilize and weaken older people. Thus older adults are vulnerable to several emotional, psychological, and physical health issues. But intervention and assistance by loved ones can help them stay healthy and fit. Remember, they were your support when you could barely walk; it’s time to help them out when they need you the most!