America is aging. As Baby Boomers continue to turn 65, the scale is tipping in the direction of the elderly.
In fact, seniors will outnumber children by 2035. With so many elderly people needing health and medical attention, it is vital to make sure that you take senior health seriously for your aging parents.
Read on for four top health tips for seniors.
1. Focus on Nutrition
A diet full of whole foods is important at any age. Yet, it is even more vital for senior health.
Make sure your elderly parent's plate is consistently full of whole foods, including veggies and fruits as well as whole grains, nuts, and low-fat dairy.
Avoid giving mom sugar, salt, fatty meats, and pre-packaged foods.
There is a lot of research to support the need for a proper diet. In fact, focusing on eating clean whole foods has been shown to help adults live longer. This diet also protects against heart disease, cancer, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Of course, making sure your elderly parent is getting his or her daily medications is also vital. If you aren't sure about mom's coverage, review this guide to Medicare Part B.
2. Allow Mom to Feel Useful and Needed
Senior mental health is a fragile thing. Depression is more likely to occur when elderly adults do not feel valued or important.
One of the best things you can do for mom's mental health is to make sure she feels that she can still contribute. Help her not to feel that she is a burden.
This can happen in a variety of ways. Figure out what tasks your loved one might be able to perform. It's OK if she doesn't do these tasks perfectly.
The point is to allow mom to contribute.
Good options might include folding laundry, organizing drawers, writing the grocery list, washing, and chopping vegetables for dinner.
There are also other tasks that mom might be an expert on. For example, asking mom to knit you a scarf or hat. Or to help you organize family photos.
3. Take Her For a Walk
Exercise is important for senior health. A daily 30-minute walk is the best exercise at this age.
Even if your loved one's health doesn't allow for 30 consecutive minutes. You can break it up into smaller chunks.
If possible, walk at a speed that allows mom to feel a bit out of breath. This is so good for her heart and lung health. It allows fresh blood and oxygen to pump through her body.
Plus, the outdoor air and sights will also help fight boredom and depression. In fact, research suggests aerobic exercise may delay or improve symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
4. Help Them Stay Connected With Family, Friends, and Community
Loneliness and feeling disconnected are very real dangers for senior citizens, especially if they no longer live at home or drive.
It's vital that you help your elderly parent stay connected to their friends, other family members and their community.
There are so many ways to connect. Help your mom or dad set up a social media account and teach them how to use it.
You can also make video conference appointments with loved ones. If necessary, schedule these on dates you will be there to help with the tech.
Think about friends and family your mom would like to have lunch with or go for a cup of coffee. Try to fill up mom's social calendar so that she has a social connection a few times a week (in person or online).
This more than anything else can boost your loved one's spirits and improve her overall health and wellness.
Prioritize Senior Health
As you know, your parent is now in the sunset of his or her life. Even though these final years can be full of challenges, there is a lot you can do to improve senior health.
We hope you found these tips helpful. Now, check out our other articles for more great content.