5 Ways to Prepare the Body for the Senior Years

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Aging is a natural part of life, and poor habits could impact your senior loved one’s physical and mental health. As a family caregiver, you need to help your loved one prepare for various bodily changes, including those that lead to chronic conditions. Below are tips to help your parent prepare his or her body for old age and the benefits of each strategy.

1. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Obesity is a severe problem for many older adults. Failing to maintain a healthy weight could raise your loved one’s risk of developing diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and other serious medical conditions. However, exercise and proper nutrition could lower the risk of obesity and keep your loved one’s body in good shape as he or she ages. When speaking with your parent’s primary care physician, ask for a target weight and seek out easy tips to help your loved one meet it.

Professional caregivers can help seniors prepare nutritious meals and exercise safely at home. Every senior has different needs when aging in place. Some simply need occasional assistance with household chores, while others may be managing a serious illness and reuire more extensive 24-hour care. Rhode Island seniors can count on Home Care Assistance to provide the in-home care they need and deserve. 

2. Stop Smoking

Continuing to smoke can damage the lungs and cause long-term health problems. For example, the damage from using tobacco products could increase the risk of coughs, colds, and asthma as well as fatal diseases like lung cancer and pneumonia. When helping your loved one give up cigarettes, cigars, and other tobacco products, develop a list of good habits he or she can take on, such as socializing more, doing creative projects, and joining senior-friendly support groups. In addition to quitting smoking, your loved one should limit alcohol consumption and avoid drinks like beer and liquor.

A home caregiver can be a wonderful source of support for a senior who wants to adopt healthier lifestyle habits. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of home care service. You can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.

3. Attend Regular Doctor Visits

Seeing their primary care physicians a few times per year is necessary for the elderly. During regular visits with their physicians, seniors can receive testing and physical exams to check their blood sugar and cholesterol levels, cognitive health, bone density, cardiovascular health, and more. If there are any issues, your loved one’s doctor can develop a treatment plan or recommend a specialist to boost health and stay in good physical shape. It would also help if your loved one visits the dentist and eye doctor regularly and learns preventive measures to protect his or her overall wellbeing in the golden years.

4. Get Plenty of Rest

Sleep is necessary for the body to repair and heal various organs and tissues. Seniors who fail to get sufficient rest at night are at higher risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and more. Explain the benefits of sleep to your loved one or ask his or her doctor to go over the advantages of getting high-quality rest. Your parent should establish a consistent bedtime routine, which should include avoiding heavy meals and excessive liquids before bed and turning off lights, televisions, and other distractions.

5. Control Stress Levels

Everyone experiences stress, but for the elderly, it can be deadly if left unchecked. When preparing the body for old age, your loved one should adopt positive habits to reduce anxiety, such as socializing more, focusing on proper nutrition, avoiding stressful people and situations, and establishing a supportive network of friends, family members, and medical providers. A doctor could also prescribe medication to help your loved one manage stress as he or she ages.

Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional home care. Rhode Island Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfillinglife. To learn more about our reliable, compassionate in-home care services, contact us at (401) 284-0979 today.

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