Community Blog

5 Keys to Caring for Seniors

By Joe Sander

Caring for an aging parent can sometimes be overwhelming for loved ones. Knowing how to provide the best care during the different phases of aging can be complex, but there are some key tips that will help to provide a pathway for you:

 

  1. Exercise

An active lifestyle is more important than ever as your loved one grows older. Exercise is key to staying healthy, strong, energetic and maintaining independence. Starting a regular exercise routine doesn’t require a strenuous workout or gym membership. Many seniors are concerned with fitness barriers, chronic health issues, disabilities or fear of falls and injury. There are a large variety of senior oriented fitness classes, walking groups or even chair aerobics that are oriented towards a wide spectrum of needs and abilities as well as for those who are homebound. Exercise and strength training are essential to lowering the risks of Alzheimer’s, dementia, heart disease, high blood pressure and obesity and have a positive effect on confidence and mood.

 

  1. Healthy Diet

Make sure your loved one has a properly balanced diet and drinks plenty of water. Eat a fiber rich, low cholesterol and low fat diet. Cut out smoking and limit alcohol consumption.

 

  1. Social Support System

Seniors staying socially active with friends, family and within their community is vital to physical and mental health. Isolation has serious health risks for adults and can contribute to higher rates of depression, obesity, heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Staying connected is important for seniors.

 

  1. Well Check-ups

Regular check-ups with a doctor, dentist and optometrist are more important now than ever. Also be sure that your loved one is taking all of their medications as directed by their doctor.  Mental health check-ups and monitoring are also necessary for a healthy life.

 

  1. Home Care Helper

Providing your loved one with an in-home care service can greatly help you and your family to be assured that someone is there when you’re not able to be. Home care helpers can manage daily tasks in the home, run errands, escort seniors to appointments or enjoy social time playing cards or talking. Home care providers offer a peace of mind that your loved one is being well taken care of and is safe.

 

 

Caring for an aging loved one involves many heart felt discussions with family to determine the best plan to ensure healthy aging.  It’s key to stress the importance of exercise and reducing alcohol consumption and smoking.  Check to make sure your loved one has a social support system of family, friends or support groups and has access to professional support when needed.  Offer helpful information about the benefits of healthy eating and let them know about food services available. Also stress the importance of oral healthcare and regular dental check-ups to prevent conditions prone to their age group. Lastly, help you and your loved one by providing a home care helper to assist your parent in their day to day life so they can live independently with the support they need.