Now that we have settled into the New Year it’s a good time for a gentle reminder to get our health improvements back on track.
Many of us have made resolutions – and some of us will even keep them – but as caregivers of senior loved ones it may be us who helped them make their resolutions in order to help them remain as healthy as possible, control chronic disease and prevent any other problems from occurring.
It’s hard to argue with the idea making a resolution to improve our health, but that’s just the beginning, and may be the easy part at that. The real question is how you are going to keep them because resolutions shouldn’t be made to be broken.
Health Reminders to Help Get & Keep Seniors on the Right Track:
- Make appointments now for them to get their preventive healthcare needs met. Appointments should include: a checkup with their doctor for an annual wellness visit; immunizations including flu, pneumonia, shingles and others; dental checkup; dilated eye exam; prostate screening; mammogram; hearing checkup; bone density test and blood pressure screenings. Most of these screening tests are covered by Medicare so there is no reason to avoid them.
- Make a health history for your senior and yourself. Keep it updated so that everyone will know important health information that can be shared with your healthcare providers. The Surgeon General’s office put together My Family Health Portrait to get you started.
- Help your senior stay physically active. Take a walk around the block or drive to a nearby park and from there take a nature walk. Participate in activities that you both enjoy such as Wii golf, bowling, golfing, dancing, gardening, bird watching and other activities that will keep your senior moving.
- Help them eat a well-balanced diet that includes a healthy variety of nutritious and nutrient dense foods. Include nutritious between meal snacks if they can’t eat much at one time. Include protein foods at each meal.
- Be sure your senior gets a good night’s sleep every evening. Help them create habits that will help them sleep well at night. You might want to review our post Sleep Evading Senior Loved Ones? 10 Sleeping Pill Alternatives for tips on sleep habits.
- Make home repairs and installations that will keep your senior safe, such as weather stripping to keep the cold out, handrails in stairways, grab bars in the bathroom, safe flooring, radon detector, smoke detectors and adequate lighting. Don’t forget to have a fire extinguisher handy and a first aid kit fully stocked in case of emergency.
We can assist our senior loved ones to keep their health resolutions and keep them safe at home with a few reminders and an action plan to accomplish our goals as caregivers.
Let us know how you take steps to keep healthy this New Year!