5 Tips for Encouraging Your Aging Parent to Adopt a Healthier Lifestyle

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Getting aging parents to be healthier may sometimes feel like a constant battle, and the last thing you want is to get into a heated argument with your loved one about what he or she eats or does each day. However, some older adults are resistant to change, and you can use these strategies to overcome your loved one’s resistance to living a healthier lifestyle.

1. Make Living Healthier Normal

Don’t tell your parent you want him or her to start eating healthier or working out. Instead, just start adding healthy lifestyle practices to the daily routine. For instance, you could serve a breakfast smoothie full of fruits and vegetables to start the day. You can also swap out hydrogenated oils for healthier versions, such as olive oil. Your loved one may not even notice small changes such as these, and if he or she does, your parent may be more likely to comply after finding out it’s been happening for a while. 

Family caregivers need to follow healthy lifestyles too, which involves self-care and taking time to nurture their own wellbeing. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Rowlett, TX, 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.

2. Remind Your Parent of His or Her Role in the Family

Your loved one may not see the point in quitting smoking or another unhealthy habit when he or she has done it for so long. However, there’s a huge reason to live healthier. Talk to your loved one about how his or her grandchildren and the other members of the family view him or her as a role model. While it may not get your loved one to quit right away, it may provide some food for thought the next time he or she thinks about doing something unhealthy in front of someone he or she loves.

3. Knock Out the Excuses

It’s common for seniors to claim that making healthier choices is too difficult. They may say chewing up hard vegetables takes forever or they’re afraid of falling while they’re trying to exercise. Try not to invalidate your loved one’s excuses, because they may very well be the truth. Instead, look for ways to fix each one. For example, having a caregiver prepare meals or stay nearby while your loved one exercises makes it possible for your loved one to do the things he or she says are impossible. 

Having a professional caregiver assist with these changes can alleviate a lot of the apprehension your loved one may feel. Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust Rowlett elder care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life.

4. Set Goals and Rewards

Many healthy lifestyle changes take time to generate any positive effects. To prevent your loved one from losing motivation, set goals he or she can track, such as exercising each day for a week. Then follow up each goal with a small reward to encourage your loved one to keep making progress.

5. Get Your Parent Excited About the Future

Some seniors view living healthier as pointless if they don’t have a reason to strive for longevity. Help your loved one see the future with hope by planning events he or she can work toward for several weeks or months. For instance, your loved one may be more likely to want to exercise if he or she will be going on a walking tour during an upcoming vacation. Whether your parent wants to be healthy enough to see his or her first great-grandchild or reunite with an old friend, having something exciting to look forward to is motivation for staying fit.

A trained professional caregiver can be a wonderful resource when you’re trying to help your loved one lead 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. Rowlett 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. To learn more about our reliable, compassionate in-home care services, contact us at (972) 722-7833 today.