As our parents, grandparents, and other beloved friends and family age – it can be more important than ever to help them maintain their health and wellness. As our loved ones get older, most of the time, they get a little less active than they used to be and often may not even get their recommended 30 minutes a day. Illnesses and disease can also start to arise and people may experience a reduced appetite. So what can you do to help those around as they age?
It’s not just your elderly loved ones that need that 30 minutes of walking or movement per day – you do too! You can combine you and your loved one’s’ active time if you are nearby. Taking regular strolls, no matter the pace can keep you both healthy – but it gives you plenty of time that you can spend together too. You can also have a chat with their doctor or nurse to see if they might recommend including weights in the daily walk – or just in general. Weights can help protect against muscle loss.
If you live a little further away from your elderly loved ones, one of the ways that you can make sure they are cared for and supported is by choosing the right assisted living situation. There are so many activities at assisted living facilities, and they are designed to keep aging people active and healthy. You can often discuss all of these things with assisted living advisors to have all of the information you need to make sure your loved one is well looked after and healthy.
As we get older, our diet needs to change, and the multivitamin we had at 20 and 40 is different from the one we need at 75 and 80. It becomes more important to have plenty of fiber and the RDA for vitamins and minerals. Lack of appetite is one of the most common reasons the elderly suffer from poor nutrition. When seniors eat with other people, they are likely to enjoy their meals more and even eat more than usual. Where possible, share a mealtime or two each week and offer to cook. Ensure that the meals you cook are packed with nutrition.
You likely won’t be around for every doctor appointment, which leaves you trying to learn about the medicines your elderly loved ones need. Where possible, make sure that you have a list of their medications, and you are on the lookout for any changes when a change of medication occurs or in general.
As we age, we wake more often in the night and are more likely to have bouts of insomnia. Make sure that aside from a regular sleep pattern, your loved ones have access to relaxing sleep sprays, soothing teas, calming music, or books to read to help them get back to sleep – or at the very least relax. Remember that cognitive health is just as important, so good conversations and crossword puzzles can work wonders! Some health needs are more common than others, and the more you know, the better you can be prepared: Health Challenges Common in Old Age – Marathons & Motivation.