It’s never easy to see a loved one get older and perhaps need more support during their everyday routine. Keeping track of good health can be difficult, even with your own health, as it’s not always easy to see a problem. This can be even more difficult with seniors who are more vulnerable, especially if you don’t live with them.
There are, however, many ways you can help encourage the better health of the senior loved ones in your life. It can often be as simple as gentle encouragement or helping them learn more about their own healthy routine. At other times, more dedicated healthcare attention may be required by a professional, in which case it’s also important when to know whether a healthcare attendant needs to take over.
Whatever the senior person in your life needs, you can make it a lot easier by staying aware and taking key steps, like the following discussed in this article.
Signs Your Loved One May Need Extra Support
Your loved ones may not always vocalize when they need help, especially if they don’t want to put extra pressure on you. Therefore, they may avoid speaking openly of any issues, and if they live alone, this may mean that any health issues may go unnoticed by you. That’s why it’s important to watch out for any signs they may need support as they age, just in case they don’t willingly speak to you about it.
These signs may include:
- You’ve noticed that their physical health has declined, such as weight loss, weight gain, or any other problems which manifest physically
- Their mobility appears to be affected
- Their home may be messy or cluttered, which you notice when you visit them
- You’ve noticed that their brain may need a boost, such as them having trouble remembering things, or you’ve simply noticed that they don’t do enough to activate their brain
- You’ve noticed them eating unhealthily or having unhealthy habits
How to Ensure the Health of Your Loved Ones
Speak to Them Regularly
You don’t want to feel as though you’re constantly interrogating them, and nor do you want them to feel annoyed that you keep checking up on them, but regular questioning and open conversations may be the only way to address any issues. Even if your loved one doesn’t want to openly ask for help, you may be able to detect any problems in their response if you ask them about their health and living situation. Regular conversations and checking in with them will help you to assess the situation.
Encourage Healthy Practices: Eating, Exercising and Socializing
Even for a young person in great shape, the idea of exercise can sometimes be off-putting. For a senior who may be struggling with mobility, it can be even more so. Sometimes they may need a gentle nudge to keep on top of healthy practices, as well as encouragement.
If you’re concerned about their healthy habits, check in with them about how they’re eating and how you can help promote a healthier diet.
Offering to exercise with them is also an opportunity to encourage fitness for both of you. Or you may want to help them find a fitness class they can attend without you.
Getting involved in the community is also great for the health of seniors, both mind and body, so you may also want to spend time with them searching for community opportunities like hobby classes.
Sometimes all it can take is a little encouragement for them to get involved in healthier things.
Think About Senior Living Facilities
An important point to remember is that you can’t do everything. If your loved one’s health is being compromised and they need dedicated support, it doesn’t mean that you’re equipped to give it. For the good of their health (and your own), your loved one may need to live in supported living instead of in their regular home, such as Belmont Village Senior Living services.
This means that they’ll have the dedicated healthcare they need and community support without you having to feel the pressure of caring for them in a capacity you cannot.
Help Them with Appointments and Errands
Organizing healthcare checkups is a must for any senior, but it can be difficult to stay on top of older people if they struggle with their memory or mobility. You may want to help them set reminders or keep a calendar for certain appointments or key errands. If possible, and if you’re able to, you may also feel better helping them attend appointments by giving them a lift or going with them.
Do Your Own Research
Unless you’re a healthcare professional yourself, you may not know anything about senior health. While common sense will allow you to make good decisions regarding health and wellbeing, you may feel out of your depth when it comes to senior health. If you feel as though you need more knowledge to help support your loved ones, you can always do your own research into the proper methods of good senior health. This can be especially beneficial if your loved one doesn’t have the means to do their own research or appreciate your input.
This research could include simple and helpful ideas, like the best exercise for seniors, brain puzzles for seniors, and nutrition essentials for older people.
Care for Yourself, Too
No matter how much you love and care for the senior in your life, it can easily take its toll. Your own health and routine can easily be put on the back burner if you’re fully focused on helping your loved one. It’s important to spend time caring for yourself, too. If you burn yourself out trying to do everything for your loved one, this only increases the likelihood of you suffering and falling ill — in which case, you won’t be in a good position to help your loved one for a while.
Therefore, remember to always care for yourself in the same way you would your loved one.