Watching someone you care about face the challenges of aging can tug on your heart, especially if you see them making unhealthy choices. However, knowing how to address your concerns without creating conflict or hurt feelings can be tough. The last thing you want is to aggravate the situation, so here’s how to gently encourage a senior toward a better quality of life.
There are many reasons seniors become more sedentary. Maybe an injury or illness created a setback, or perhaps a fear of falling has become a worry. Unfortunately, as Medical News Today explains, some studies indicate when older adults are sedentary, it could potentially lead to experiencing the effects of aging at a faster rate.
If your senior is currently living a sedentary lifestyle, think about ways you can encourage more activity. For instance, some Humana Medicare Advantage plans cover fitness programs through Silver Sneakers, a fitness program that partners with gyms across the country offering fitness memberships and age-appropriate classes to qualifying seniors. Your loved one could potentially take something like a yoga class with peers, or work directly with an instructor to address balance concerns. Help your loved one review their Medicare Advantage plan to find out more about eligibility and other benefits that can bolster their healthy lifestyle efforts.
Find Relief Naturally
Many seniors experience chronic health concerns that can leave them feeling poorly, or simply needing help with managing symptoms. Some research indicates that as a result, it’s increasingly common for seniors to experience an unhealthy dependence on prescriptions. Self-medication to cope with chronic pain, depression, and anxiety can lead to addiction. It’s often an inadvertent issue, as seniors might forget dosages or simply take pills when they don’t feel good.
There are a few different things you can do to help. Consider offering to assist your senior with managing prescriptions, and think about adding an automatic pill dispenser to your loved one’s medicine cabinet. To help with symptoms like chronic pain, depression, and anxiety without resorting to medications, CBD oil is a helpful, natural alternative, and it can even help those undergoing treatment for cancer. You senior should check in with their doctor before adding any new treatments.
Enjoy Healthy Foods
It’s not unusual for an adult’s eating habits to drop off with age. Age-related changes in how food is perceived can lead to a reduced appetite, as foods don’t sound, feel, taste, or smell like they used to. Some seniors struggle with food preparation due to lost dexterity and strength. Mobility concerns can also keep some seniors from being comfortable with grocery shopping, and poor oral health can also be a factor. However, older bodies still need proper nutrition, and in some ways it’s even more important for seniors to eat a healthy diet.
For those who aren’t eating well, try asking what might be holding your loved one back, and then address the specific concern. If foods aren’t as interesting as they used to be, suggest some herbs and spices to add flavor. Those struggling with food prep can often find relief with clever kitchen tools, and meal delivery services can help with getting groceries to your loved one’s home.
There are many challenges that can go hand in hand with aging. Whether activity levels are dropping, medications are a worry, or eating habits are waning, there are ways to help. If you have a senior who is developing unhealthy habits, gently encourage a new direction.