Regardless of their age, it’s important that both their body and mind remain in good health to prevent illness, but is there anything you can physically do to guarantee they’re maintaining a healthy lifestyle?
If you are taking it upon yourself to be the main caregiver of an elderly relative, the tips below may come in useful when it comes to keeping check of their health and wellbeing.
1. Encourage them to keep active
As people get older, they become less inclined to exercise, however, this is one of the worst things they can do if they wish to stay in good health. Physical activity boosts the immune system and helps the body fight off illnesses and disease. Exercise doesn’t have to be too strenuous; even walking around the house numerous times throughout the day, or going to swimming sessions on a weekly basis, will ensure their muscles stay strong.
2. Invest in home care
If you’re worried about how your relative manages at home by themselves when you’re not around, you could always look into home care, so they have a helping hand when needs be. Some elderly people don’t want to move full-time into a residential home, and home care is the next best option. Here, specialist care givers will assist with the likes of dressing, meal preparation, exercise and personal hygiene to take some of the pressure off you.
3. Eat healthily
One of the best things you can do for elderly relatives is to encourage them to eat healthily. If they’re unable to go shopping themselves, and you go on their behalf, choose foods that are high in fiber and very nutritious. The digestive system slows down as we get older meaning healthier foods such as fruit and vegetables are essential for keeping the body in good form.
4. Ensure they’re getting enough sleep
Despite the recommended 7-9 hours each night, elderly people tend not to sleep as much. This then leads to them waking up constantly during the night and feeling weak during the day. If your elderly relative is suffering with insomnia, it’s important to think about techniques that will encourage a better night’s sleep. Pay attention to their bedroom environment – make sure it’s comfortable, quiet and is dark enough to make them feel drowsy before their head hits the pillow.
5. Take note of their mental health
Although mental health is most prevalent amongst young people these days, the elderly can also show signs of anxiety and depression. Encourage them to complete crosswords and puzzles to keep their mind active, or even to take on new hobbies in the local area to meet new friends and give them a newfound sense of enjoyment they had perhaps lost.