FindItMore | Having aging loved one in the home can prove to be demanding. You will do your best to show that you love and care for him or her by doing what you can to accommodate the demands of his or her changing lifestyle. You want your parents to be around and in good health, but you also do not want to go about it the wrong way and hurt your relationship. If all your efforts seem not to be working as you hoped, you should consider doing some things differently. Below are a few tips on how you can motivate your aging loved one to do what he or she can when making healthy lifestyle choices and changes.
However, getting the seniors to be healthier often feel that a battle. You will continuously do your best to avoid getting into a heated argument about what your parent likes to eat or do each day. Some aging parents are resistant to change, and if that is the case, then you can overcome such resistance using the following strategies.
- Make living healthier seem normal
Instead of telling your parents that you want him or her to start working out and eating healthier, try to introduce the lifestyle changes into their daily routine slowly. For example, you can make breakfast where you have a smoothie made from fruits and vegetables, and use healthier oils for salads and cooking. The changes can be small and moderated so that they are not pronounced. Your aging loved one may comply with the new way of things once he or she discovers that it has been ongoing for a while.
Some seniors may have different reasons for preferring processed foods. Picking up a fast-food meal or opening a bag of chips is a quick and straightforward solution for many aging adults. It is easier for them compared to chopping vegetables and having to stand by the stove to cook. To help them, you need to observe their mobility level and health to determine why they prefer eating unhealthy foods. If it is a matter of time taken to prepare the meal, then arrange for an assistant to help in cooking. Moreover, consider foods and are healthy and easy to heat up.
The caregivers should lead by example, showing the seniors the benefits of following a healthy lifestyle. It should be a process that involves self-care. For some families, attending the needs of their aging loved one may be difficult. As such, they need to consider seeking professional respite care for their elders.
- Remind your parent of his or her role in the family
If your elderly parent sees no point in quitting unhealthy habits such as heavy drinking or smoking, you should not give up. Talk with him or her about how such habits only make the grandkids and other family members worry. Let the senior know that he or she is a valued role model for the family. Such a strategy may not get your aging loved one to quit the unhealthy habit, but it does offer some food for thought regarding this, such as drinking or smoking in front of other family members.
- Knock out the excuses
The elderly find it hard to make healthier lifestyle choices. For instance, they may not like eating their raw or partially cooked vegetables because they find it hard to chew. They may be afraid of falling; thus, they will not take any keen interest in exercising. Avoid trying to invalidate their excuses because they may be telling the truth. What you should do is to try and look into ways of fixing their concerns. For instance, you can fix a meal that they can chew with ease or joint them in their daily exercises.
Enlisting the assistance of a professional caregiver can help with the transition and eliminate the apprehension that your aging parent may feel. With the help of the caregiver, the family can ensure that they maintain a high quality of life for their elderly loved ones irrespective of the challenges they may face.
- Set goals and rewards
By setting goals, you can be able to care for yourself as you also look after your aging parent. It is a strategy that can also help you stay motivated to do what you can to ensure your old loved one enjoys the best quality of life. Therefore, plan what you want to achieve at what age, even in your senior years. In so doing, this will give you a sense of accomplishment.
Keep in mind that implementing healthy lifestyle changes take time, and the same can be said of the positive effects they generate. To keep your parent motivated, help him or her set goals that are easy to track. For instance, you can help the seniors plan the daily exercises and a small reward for encouragement to help them keep making progress.
- Get your elderly parents excited about the future
To help the aging loved one that feels living healthier is pointless, given their age, you can help them see things differently and be hopeful of the future. For instance, you can help them plan events or include them in a project. You can encourage your elderly family members to sign up for an upcoming walking tour. You can as well tell them to do their best to stay strong and healthy so that they can see their first great-grandchild. The point is to have something exciting that they look forward to; it will motivate them to stay healthy.
All the above can be achieved with the aid of a trained and experienced professional caregiver. Remember, people are different and have unique needs; thus, the seniors in our family will have different needs. That means that the elderly will not need the same type of home care during their old age.