As our loved ones age, it’s only natural that we want to do everything we can to ensure they are comfortable and healthy. About 80 percent of older people have at least one chronic health condition, so it is essential to stay informed about their health and take preventive measures to ensure they are healthy and comfortable. Here are a few ways to help keep your elderly loved one comfortable and healthy.
1. Check-in Regularly
One of the best ways to help your elderly loved one is by checking in with them regularly. This could mean calling them on the phone, sending them a text, or even dropping by for a visit. Checking in will let them know you care about them and are there for them. Plus, it’s an excellent opportunity to see how they are doing and if they need assistance.
If you are always busy, you could enlist the help of another family member or friend to keep in touch with your loved one regularly. This can ensure someone is always there to lend support and assistance if needed. You could also consider hiring a home healthcare provider to check in on them daily. They will be able to assess their health and report back any changes or concerns.
2. Schedule Health Checkups
It’s essential to make sure your elderly loved one visits their doctor regularly. Depending on their age and overall health, they may need to visit more often than someone younger. Home visits are available in many areas if they are uncomfortable going to the doctor’s office. Visiting their doctor regularly will help to monitor any changes in their health and provide an opportunity to discuss any questions or concerns they may have.
And don’t forget to schedule visits to the dentist as well. Going to your local dental office for regular checkups and cleanings can help identify any issues and keep their teeth healthy. Especially because older adults are more likely to suffer from gum disease or tooth decay due to decreased saliva production, you’ll want to make sure they visit the dentist every six months. This will help them maintain good oral health and avoid potential dental issues.
3. Help with Daily Activities
Another way to help your elderly loved one is by helping them with their daily activities. This could include cooking, cleaning, bathing, or running errands. If you live close by, this might be something you can do a few times a week. If you live further away, you can still help by sending someone in to help or arranging for services to be delivered to their home.
Of course, some seniors want to stay independent and do things on their own. It’s important to respect their wishes while still offering assistance when needed. You can start by asking if they need anything and helping with whatever they accept. Never force them to do something they don’t want to or feel uncomfortable doing.
4. Make Sure They’re Eating Right
Our elderly loved ones must eat right to stay healthy and strong. This means ensuring they get enough of the proper nutrients daily. If cooking meals from scratch is tough, plenty of pre-made meals and meal delivery services can help make things easier. You can also talk to their doctor about what diet would be best for them based on their health needs. Depending on their age and health condition, they may need to follow a specific diet plan.
If they have difficulty eating, look into assistive devices that help them eat independently. This could include things like a long-handled spoon or an automatic food processor. There are also special utensils designed for people with arthritis or tremor. You can also look for fortified foods like snacks and drinks which are high in protein and vitamins.
5. Get Them Moving
Exercise is essential for everyone, but it’s especially important for seniors as they age. Even if your loved one isn’t able to get out and about much, there are still plenty of exercises they can do at home or even in a chair. Walking around the block together is also a great way to exercise and spend quality time together. Just make sure to take it slow and rest often if needed.
6. Connect Them with Their Community
Finally, staying connected with their community is another great way to keep your elderly loved ones comfortable and healthy. This could mean joining a local senior center or participating in activities at their place of worship. There are also many social clubs and groups for seniors that meet regularly. Getting involved will help your loved one stay mentally and socially active, which is good for their overall health and well-being.
Keeping your elderly loved one comfortable and healthy is an important responsibility. By following these tips, you can help provide them with the support they need to live a healthy and fulfilling life. Make sure to keep in touch regularly, provide them with assistance when needed, and get them active and engaged with their community. With your help, they can remain independent for as long as possible.