Repeat any behavior often enough, and it will become a habit. Habits let seniors perform beneficial behaviors like brushing their teeth as if they were second nature. However, habits can also come in the form of harmful behaviors that might damage your aging loved one’s health and shorten his or her life span. While habits like smoking, overeating, and abusing alcohol or drugs are obviously bad for your loved one’s health, the following five behaviors can have life-shortening effects as well.
1. Not Getting Enough Sleep
Lack of sleep not only leaves seniors low on energy, but it can also negatively affect their cognitive abilities. Studies show sleep-deprived people have poorer memory skills than those who get adequate rest. Too little sleep can also compromise the immune system, alter hormone levels, and make it difficult to lose weight.
2. Eating Late at Night
The main reason eating right before going to bed is harmful is because seniors are more likely to make unhealthy food choices. Late-night snacking can also lead to heartburn, as a prone or lying position allows stomach acid to back up into the esophagus.
If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care, a leading provider of home care. Home Care provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.
3. Avoiding Fruits & Vegetables
Sooner or later, sticking to a meat-and-potatoes diet will damage your loved one’s health and reduce the chances of living a long and vigorous life. Fruits and vegetables contain nutrients that repair damaged cells and protect them from harm. Eating five or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day can reduce the risk of heart disease by as much as 20 percent.
A professional caregiver with training in nutrition and healthy eating can be a wonderful source of information and encouragement as your loved one adopts new healthy habits. Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them attain this goal. Families can trust Harrisburg in-home care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living longer and healthier lives.
4. Not Flossing
Aside from giving your loved one a sparkling smile and healthier teeth, flossing offers protection against gum disease, a condition that increases the risk of developing heart disease and pancreatic cancer.
5. Watching Too Much Television
Few things are as damaging to a senior’s health as a sedentary lifestyle. Activities that keep your loved one sitting for hours, such as watching television, increase the risk of stroke, obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.
If you usually help your loved one exercise but need a break now and then, consider having a professional caregiver take over for you. Harrisburg respite care professionals can assist seniors with a wide array of daily tasks, offering family caregivers the chance to focus on other personal responsibilities or take a break to prevent burnout. Whether it’s for a few hours a day or a few days a week, respite care is the perfect solution for family caregivers who are feeling overwhelmed. Trust Home Care to provide high-quality compassionate professional care for your loved one. If your loved one needs help with the challenges of aging, call one of our compassionate Care Managers today at (717) 540-4663.