How to Help Seniors Make Healthier Choices
If you have a senior loved one in your life who isn’t making the best decisions for their overall health and well-being, then stepping in and helping when you can is extremely important. This can be particularly difficult when your senior loved one is stubborn and doesn’t want to take care of themselves. Exercise, plenty of sleep and a healthy diet are all part of a healthy lifestyle. So, how do you approach a senior who isn’t doing these things to care for themselves? Here are some tips on how to help seniors to make healthier decisions for themselves.
Educate Your Loved One
A good foundation for helping seniors make smarter, healthier choices is a good education. Many seniors aren’t making the healthy choices that they should because they simply do not know enough to make the right choices. If you want to help your loved one make healthier choices, you need to educate them on basic healthy choices they can make, and most importantly why making healthy choices is so important for their overall wellbeing.
Don’t Be Afraid to Motivate
Sometimes, seniors need a little extra motivation in order to start making the healthy decisions that they need to. Don’t ever be afraid to motivate a senior to start making different, better choices. Do not be afraid of seeing like you are “pushing” the senior or nagging them to make healthier choices. For many individuals, making healthy choices is not an easy choice and it doesn’t come naturally. A little extra positive motivation can really go a long way in helping seniors make positive, lasting changes.
Start With Small Suggestions
Asking a senior to completely change their entire life at a drop of a dime likely won’t go well. Instead of asking them to completely overhaul their lives, start by making small suggestions. Replacing white bread with wheat bread, drinking more water everyday or taking a vitamin every morning are all examples of small, easy changes that seniors can make in order to be healthier.
Don’t Let Yourself Enable Bad Habits
One of the biggest ways you can help any senior make better, healthier life decisions is to make sure that you aren’t enabling them. It can be difficult to stand up to a senior loved one and tell them “no.” It can also be very easy to accidentally fill the role of enabler in your loved one’s life. Just because you love someone, it doesn’t mean that you have to give in to everything they want.
If a senior loved one wants to make unhealthy choices, standing by and letting them make these bad choices is just as bad as encouraging them to make these poor choices. Make sure that you are careful and not letting yourself enable these bad habits and unhealthy choices. Staying silent can be just as harmful as anything.
It isn’t always easy for seniors to change their current lifestyle habits and start making better, healthier decisions for themselves. However, when seniors are able to make smart, healthy choices for themselves they are much more likely to continue to live the healthy, balanced life that they deserve.
- Lori Thomas has decades of experience as a caregiver. Her writing for SeniorAdvice.com is informed by years of research as well as hands-on family experience caring for her now late mother, who had chronic health issues for most of her life. Lori is an integral part of the SeniorAdvice.com management team, acting as Vice President of Marketing and Chief Editor.
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