Health and Wellbeing: How to Help Parents Thrive as They Get Older

Getting older can affect people in many different ways. Some don’t seem to look worse off for it, while others may experience typical signs of aging, such as a weakened immune system or the development of an age-related health condition. Although everyone may wish to remain healthy and well throughout their lifetime, age affects everyone eventually, including your parents. As they age, your loved ones may slowly become more dependent on you as their health wavers. The key is to recognize signs of aging and tackle them head-on. Here are a few top tips to help your parents thrive as they get older.

Remind Them to Book Their Annual Physical

People over the age of 50 can benefit from going for an annual check-up with their healthcare provider. Older people are more at risk of developing certain health conditions, such as diabetes, arthritis, and cancer. Some health problems do not have symptoms in the early stages, which makes them hard to spot. During an examination, healthcare professionals can check overall health and perform preventive screening to find health issues early. This enables physicians to treat and even cure the issue before it gets worse.

Help Them Plan for the Future

It is difficult to think about a future where your parents have failing health and rely on others to thrive. However, it is important to consider all possible outcomes in the future so that you can plan accordingly. Your parents may be experiencing good health now, but what if they become less mobile in the future or they develop a health condition? Some people may wish to age in place, while others might prefer to join a senior living community and move into a retirement home in their old age. Either way, having an open discussion with your parents now and helping them plan will empower them to make the most suitable choice for their future.

Assist with Activities of Daily Living (ADL)

Activities of daily living (ADLs) describe the routine tasks most people perform every day without help from others. They include basic tasks such as personal hygiene and using the bathroom to more complex tasks like getting groceries and doing household chores. When people grow older, they may find it more difficult to carry out one or more of these essential tasks by themselves. Not only can this lead to a poor quality of life, but it can also result in unsafe conditions too. Don’t be afraid to ‘check in’ on your parents and find out if they require any day-to-day help. If they are still able to carry out most ADLs autonomously but require some help with one or two things, you can offer to assist them. Doing so can help them remain independent and safe in their home for longer.

Encourage Hobbies

Doing something you love in the form of sports, hobbies, and interests can boost your quality of life. If your parents don’t have a favorite pastime and do very little in their spare time, help them find a hobby by doing some research online. Look out for local clubs they could join and activities they can participate in.