When a parent or grandparent begins to reach the point in life when extra considerations need to be given to their health, safety, and overall quality of life, it can mean facing some major decisions about how to care for them.
You might very well find yourself taking on more responsibility regarding overseeing their care and taking charge of things such as finances and the like. This is a considerable undertaking, especially if you’re seeking legal compensation on behalf of your loved one for a degenerative neurological disease brought on by exposure to toxic chemicals like Paraquat.
As signs start to arise that your aging loved one would benefit from some additional help and assistance, the best thing you can do is educate yourself about the best manner in which to help them. While so much is going to depend on the particular circumstances surrounding your loved one’s life, there are some key points to consider that can help your parent or grandparent to stay healthier for longer.
Furthermore, such things will pertain just as much to their mental health and wellbeing as they will to their physical wellness. As always, it is important to take into consideration any and all advice and guidance given by your loved one’s primary physician and to inquire about any areas that you are unsure about when it comes to their healthcare.
With that in mind, here are four ways in which you can help your aging loved one to stay healthier for longer.
1. Evaluate Their Living Situation
The first major decision that generally comes into play when the health and wellbeing of an aging loved one pertains to their living situation. If your parent has been living in their own home more or less independently, they can find it increasingly difficult to maintain not only their house but their own physical state as well.
For instance, things like housework and cleaning can start to become a great burden as a person ages. They might no longer physically be able to carry out standard tasks that help to keep a home clean and healthy to inhabit. This can also be said about their own self-care in that things like doing laundry, and regular washing can fall by the wayside as they are no longer physically capable of doing such things unassisted.
Ultimately, in such situations, it is far better to start thinking about encouraging them to make a change. Perhaps they can still handle most things on their own but need someone to come and clean the house for them once or twice a week. On the other hand, it might be time for some more involved help and assistance.
Some families choose to have an aging loved one move in with them directly so that they can be the ones to help out with the daily aspects of life that aren’t being properly seen to currently. Others find that assisted living communities like Belmont Village Senior Living are a better fit for their loved ones.
Such communities provide a level of professional care for your loved one that includes housekeeping services, self-care assistance if needed, as well as dining and entertainment options on-site. They also assist with certain healthcare matters depending on what your loved one requires.
Making sure that your loved one lives in a safe and healthy environment can go a long way to helping them to live a healthier life for longer.
2. Encourage Activity
Even though it is quite common for an aging loved one to begin to slow down quite a bit, studies have shown that there are multiple benefits to one’s physical and mental wellbeing when regular physical activity is part of their routine. Even something as simple as a 20-minute walk each day can be enough to help keep your loved one fit and healthy.
The level of physical activity that your parent should engage in will depend entirely on their particular circumstances and physical status. They might very well be able to engage in regular fitness classes at their assisted living community to stay fit and active. Otherwise, getting out and about for a stroll with you might be just what they need as part of their regular routine.
3. Consider Their Diet
Another major piece of the puzzle when it comes to the health and wellness of your loved one is their diet. Eating right is critical for anyone who wishes to live a healthier lifestyle, regardless of age or personal circumstances. That being said, it is incredibly important that you ensure that your aging parent is getting the nutrition they need on a daily basis.
Unfortunately, seeing to this aspect of your parent’s lifestyle can often be easier said than done. They might no longer wish to spend a great deal of time in the kitchen each day cooking up healthy meals and then cleaning up after themselves. You might, then, need to get creative in how you help your parent to consume a healthier diet.
If you are planning on helping your loved one to transition to an assisted living community, then you can rest easy knowing that they will be provided with a healthy and varied diet at their new home. However, if they will continue to live somewhat independently, you can consider providing them with prepared meals from a trusted meal delivery service.
It is also a good idea to consult with their physician about any dietary restrictions or recommendations that they should be adhering to.
4. Don’t Overlook Mental Health
As part of an overall picture of health and wellness, the subject of mental health should not be overlooked. Those who are advancing in years tend to face different mental health issues that can be tricky to identify and navigate.
It is important that you pay attention to any indications that your loved one is starting to suffer from a mental health condition. Things like dementia, depression, and anxiety can be brought about quite suddenly or develop slowly over time. The sooner you are able to identify an issue, the better your chances will be of being able to help your loved one to get the help they need.