Caring for seniors can be challenging because of the cognitive and physical health conditions they may have. Even experienced caregivers continue to look for new ways to help their loved ones enjoy long and fulfilling lives. If you’re a family caregiver getting ready to care for an aging adult, consider these five ways to boost your senior loved one’s cognitive, emotional, and physical health.
1. Encourage Drinking Water
One of the easiest and most effective ways to boost a senior’s health is to keep him or her hydrated by having a bottle of water handy. Countless conditions, from gum disease to high blood pressure, are worsened by chronic dehydration. Seniors who find it difficult to keep track of their water intake should fill a large jug with water every morning and aim to drink at least eight glasses throughout the day.
Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust at-home care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life.
2. Have Conversations
Many seniors and their caregivers establish strict routines, but you might want to revisit these daily habits once in a while to see if anything needs to be changed. Whenever new health conditions arise or you notice changes in your loved one’s mood, talk about how he or she feels and what you can do to help. Conversing with your loved one can also enhance his or her cognitive and emotional health by reducing feelings of isolation and neglect.
Sometimes caregivers can become overwhelmed trying to handle all the aspects of their loved ones’ health. If you’re the primary caregiver for a senior family member and you need respite care, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Home Care is here to help. Our respite caregivers are trained to assist older adults with a wide variety of everyday tasks, including meal prep, physical activity, and personal hygiene. We also provide 24-hour care and specialized care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.
3. Adopt a Pet
Even though many seniors want to have pets, it can be difficult for them to care for younger animals. Adopting an older pet that no longer needs much exercise is an excellent way to boost a senior’s quality of life. Seniors who care for pets lower their risk of developing emotional disorders such as anxiety and depression. A pet can also give your loved one a reason to move around throughout the day and enjoy the sunshine whenever possible
4. Start a Diet Together
Sticking to a diet while people around you aren’t on a diet can be difficult. Start a diet with your loved one, and both of you will have a support system and be able to cheer each other on. Always consult your loved one’s doctor before starting a new diet because seniors have unique dietary needs, which can change depending on their overall health and the medications they’re taking. As a general rule, most seniors benefit from eating lean protein, whole grains, and leafy greens.
5. Encourage Volunteering
A study funded by the Senior Citizens Bureau found seniors who volunteer have lower rates of stress, anxiety, and other emotional disorders. Even if your loved one cannot leave the house very often, he or she can still find ways to help others. Nonprofit organizations often reserve positions specifically for seniors who would like to volunteer from home by manning phones or writing letters. Seniors can also use skills such as knitting or crocheting to create items for needy people.