If you have a senior family member who lives alone, you may be concerned about whether they are maintaining a healthy lifestyle and getting adequate nutrition. If you are unable to visit often due to long distances, it may be even more worrisome. There are several steps you can take to help your family member prioritize healthy choices to improve their quality of life and increase longevity.
Listen and Learn
The first and most important step is to listen to your senior family member. By listening and observing their daily habits, you can learn some of the reasons that may be keeping them from making healthy choices.
- It may be that there are physical limitations your senior hasn’t figured out how to adjust to, keeping them from doing the things that promote wellness.
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- They may have a fear of failure, and the idea of drastic changes toward wellness seems too daunting.
- If side effects from medication seem to be affecting your senior family member’s appetite, you may want to consult with their primary care physician.
- Seniors may avoid eating due to dental appliances that make chewing difficult.
Develop a Plan
Once you determine areas for improvement, involve your senior family member in putting together a plan of action. By including them in the process, your senior will be much more motivated to participate.
- If issues such as arthritis make it difficult for your family member to chop vegetables, consider purchasing precut veggies, or prep the items for them.
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- A forgetful family member can benefit from an alarm or a phone call as a gentle reminder that it is mealtime.
- Choose foods that are easier to chew and find protein alternatives to meat, such as yogurt, cheese, and peanut butter.
- Define opportunities to add exercise and socialization into your senior family member’s daily routine
Provide a Support System
Anyone embarking on a wellness journey needs a strong support system. Seniors will benefit from the added socialization that a support system brings. Consider making lifestyle changes along with your family member. Look for opportunities to walk together, garden, and cook meals together. If you are unable to be there with your senior, consider having a senior care specialist provide the in-person support to help your family member get on the path to a healthier lifestyle.
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Making the necessary changes to embrace a healthier lifestyle can seem overwhelming to many seniors, but embarking on these changes can provide a better quality of life. A professional caregiver can support your family member with meal planning and preparation, encourage a regular exercise plan, and help them reach their goals.
Reach out to Arista Home Care Solutions and find out how our dedicated senior care specialists can help your family member live a healthier and longer life.