Aging can really take its toll on the body and the mind. One of the hardest things in life is to see your vibrant, energetic parents become elderly and frail. Their faces and posture changes. They slow down. And some can become just a shadow of their former selves. It’s a fact of life that we will continue to age and that the body will wear out. But there is plenty you can do to delay the physical changes, and help keep your parents as healthy as possible.
Keeping active for as long as possible is one of the best ways to help your parent stay as physically fit and well as they can be. Walking every day is a wonderful, gentle exercise that can also stimulate the mind. There are plenty of senior citizen exercise classes they can enjoy too. Everyone has heard the old saying that if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it. This can be very true for our bodies.
Daily stretches and movement of all the limbs can keep the circulation flowing and improve balance and coordination too. This might help prevent falls. It can also help to keep bones strong as there will be more muscle to support them. Your elderly parent may not be as agile, speedy, or flexible as they once were. But this shouldn’t stop them enjoying a full range of movement. The more they do, the easier it will become. Keeping a good level of fitness can be very beneficial.
A good diet is also essential. Elderly people tend to eat less and less as time goes by. A big meal each day may be more than they can handle. Instead, try grazing. Regular healthy snacks like fruit, salads and nuts can be highly nutritious. Smaller portions for the main meal makes for a more comfortable tummy when you’re older. Swallowing can be quite difficult too, so keep plenty of water on the table. Wetter meals can be helpful.
There may come a time when you are caring around the clock for your elderly parent. This is incredibly challenging, and you may find that it means a lot of sacrifices in your own life. It is essential you keep fit and healthy. You need the energy and the physical strength to assist your parent. You also need the breaks for a mental rest as well. Don’t feel bad about wanting to find the right nursing home for your parent. Qualified nursing staff can provide far more facilities and activities than you might be able to at home.
When it comes time to personal care like washing and toileting, many parents are reluctant to let their children get involved. This is why so many care homes provide independent living for elderly people that includes nursing support for these daily duties. It’s best to talk with your parent about their options before it becomes a necessity. Accidents at home can become very serious for you and your parent. It is often best to move your parent to a place that is more suitable for their lifestyle. Take care of your family.