Even if your senior loved one did not lead a healthy lifestyle earlier in life, it is not too late to take steps to boost his or her health. Even minor changes can have significant physical and psychological benefits. Here are a few steps your loved one can take today to make an immediate impact on his or her health.
1. Get a Colonoscopy
Colon cancer is highly treatable if caught early. Colonoscopy is performed under sedation, so your loved one may not feel pain. If the doctor notices anything suspicious, it can be removed and biopsied immediately to determine if it is cancerous. According to the American Cancer Society, 90 percent of individuals whose colon cancer is diagnosed and treated early live at least another 10 years.
Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality senior in-home care. Scottsdale families trust in Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably.
2. Pay Attention to Oral Health
Poor oral hygiene leads to the development of plaque, which contains high levels of bacteria. These bacteria can enter the bloodstream and increase the risk of stroke, heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease. Encourage your loved one to brush and floss regularly and see a dentist at least twice a year. Seniors who wear dentures need to clean their gums and dentures regularly and see a dentist to rule out other oral health issues.
3. Start Moving
According to a study in the medical journal The Lancet, even 15 minutes of exercise a day can add as much as three years to a person’s life. Something as simple as walking around the block or doing chair-based exercises can enhance cardiovascular health, increase joint flexibility, and prevent excess weight gain. Physical activity also releases neurotransmitters that boost mood. Your loved one should consult his or her doctor before starting an exercise regimen.
Seniors may need assistance with exercises and making healthier lifestyle choices. If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Scottsdale seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.
4. Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Seniors often have difficulty sleeping because of various medical conditions and changes in their circadian rhythm. Chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to memory issues, mood swings, high blood pressure, and obesity. Encourage your loved one to make sleep a priority and adopt good sleep hygiene practices such as going to bed and getting up at a regular time, avoiding electronics in the bedroom, and having a consistent bedtime ritual.
5. Develop Friendships
People who stay socially engaged and have healthy relationships tend to live longer, happier lives. Having close relationships helps seniors relieve stress and anxiety. Friends can provide physical and emotional support in times of need, which can alleviate depression and promote faster healing during illnesses. Regular conversation and interactions are also a valuable source of mental stimulation, which can slow the rate of cognitive decline.
Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Scottsdale seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more. To create a customized, high-quality, and flexible care plan for your elderly loved one, call Home Care Assistance at 480.448.6215 today.