How to Inspire Your Aging Parent to Adopt Healthy Habits

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You love your senior parent and only want the best for him or her, and you’ve probably spent more than a few visits engaging in squabbles about changing his or her lifestyle. While you don’t want to hurt your relationship, you also want your parent to be around for as long as possible. If your current tactics aren’t working, try these tips to motivate your parent to make some healthy lifestyle changes.

Make Healthy Eating Easy

Seniors who refuse to change their diets may have reasons for grabbing processed foods. Opening a bag of chips or picking up a fast-food meal is far easier than chopping vegetables or standing up to cook at the stove. Observe your loved one’s current mobility level and state of health to see if he or she is opting for foods that are easier to prepare even though they’re unhealthier. If so, arrange for meal preparation assistance. When the fridge is stocked with precut veggies and easy homemade meals to heat up, your loved one may be more likely to skip fat-filled snacks. 

A professional caregiver with training in nutrition and healthy habits can be a wonderful source of information and encouragement as your loved one adopts new healthy habits. Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust South Tampa elderly home care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life.

Offer to Do It Together

Trying to tell your parent to stop unhealthy habits such as smoking makes little sense if you’re still engaging in the same bad habit. Instead, you can tap into your loved one’s parental instincts by letting him or her know you’ll also quit if he or she commits to doing it with you. Once you show your parent that you’re in this together, he or she may be more likely to take steps, such as joining a support group to overcome addictions, that seem overwhelming alone. 

Part of a healthy lifestyle for family caregivers involves self-care and making time to attend to their own wellbeing. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. South Tampa, FL, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.

Make It Fun

Older adults sometimes view exercise as drudgery, especially if they once served in the military or were made to do calisthenics and run for miles when they were younger. However, there are plenty of fun ways for seniors to stay active, and many don’t feel like exercise at all. For instance, your loved one could take a hula hooping aerobics class or join a senior baseball league. Getting up and moving can boost your loved one’s fitness level, so feel free to experiment with some of the latest trends in exercise.

Emphasize a Positive Attitude

The phrase “dietary restrictions” is enough to make some seniors shudder. While your parent may need to avoid certain foods, you can use simple rephrasing to make it sound more palatable. Try to focus on what your loved one is adding to his or her life rather than what he or she is losing. For example, you could create a special night when you both try an exotic fruit or vegetable with dinner. Making a healthy lifestyle feel like an adventure rather than a loss can help your loved one change his or her attitude toward quitting unhealthy habits.

A professional caregiver can provide additional support for your efforts to help your loved one adopt a healthier lifestyle. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of at-home care. South Tampa families 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. Call us today at ‭(813) 488-5804‬ to discuss how we can give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing your loved one is being cared for with professionalism and compassion.

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