It’s never too late to make healthy choices. Seniors who let go of bad habits can enhance their quality of life and increase their longevity, but they have to start somewhere. Here are some tips to help your senior loved one change his or her unhealthy habits.
Identify the Bad Habits
Your loved one cannot stop making unhealthy choices if he or she is unaware of what those bad habits are. Identify the poor habits and go into depth as to why they have a negative impact on overall health. Understanding why something is bad for his or her health could encourage your loved one to make better choices going forward.
The most common unhealthy habits for seniors are:
• Avoiding socialisation
• Eating unhealthy foods
• Living a sedentary lifestyle
• Overusing medication
Family carers can model a healthy lifestyle for their loved ones, which means family members must practice self-care and make time to attend to their own wellbeing. Families who find it difficult to care for their ageing loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. North Coast, NSW, family carers who need a break from their caring duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite carers 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.
Discuss the Benefits of Focusing on Healthier Habits
If there’s a way to boost their cognitive health and stave off various age-related diseases, seniors may be less hesitant to give up their bad habits. Family carers often tell their loved ones to stop smoking and overeating, but they don’t always explain all of the benefits of letting these unhealthy habits go. For example, ageing adults who quit smoking can lower their risk of stroke, depression, heart disease, some cancers, Alzheimer’s, and a poor immune system.
A professional carer can provide additional support for your efforts to help your ageing 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 elder care. North Coast families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualised 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.
Find Healthy Alternatives
Having a plan of action in place might make your loved one embrace the changes he or she needs to make. The plan should include healthy alternatives to the bad habits your loved one has developed over the years. For example, help your parent find a manageable, low-calorie diet to replace high-calorie foods. Search for fun recipes, and encourage your loved one to help with meal prep.
Developing a plan is good, but minimising triggers in life is even better. Triggers are the people, places, and things that cause seniors to become stressed and anxious. As a result, they’re likely to turn to unhealthy habits to manage the emotional stress each trigger brings. However, helping your loved one identify his or her triggers and develop a strategy to avoid those negative emotions and memories could prevent feelings of overwhelming sadness, guilt, anger, and fear.
Set Realistic Goals
Adults often establish unhealthy habits in their younger years and carry those unhealthy choices into their senior years. Instantly letting go of these bad habits may be difficult to do, which is why you should let your loved one go at a pace he or she is comfortable with. Instead of changing all the unhealthy habits at once, choose more realistic goals and time frames to reduce the risk of relapsing or giving up the new lifestyle altogether.
A professional, trained carer 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 carers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust North Coast 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. If you need professional care for your senior loved one, Home Care Assistance is just a phone call away. Reach out to one of our Care Managers today at (02) 6646 3527.