While you’re in control of your own healthy diet and exercise habits, you may find yourself worrying about your parents’ health too. Broaching the subject with them may be hard to do. After all, no matter how old we get, we remain children in our parents’ eyes. Taking care of our kids is already a challenge, but when it comes to parents, laying down the law isn’t an option, even when we can see what they ought to be doing to enjoy a healthier lifestyle.
Here are 4 simple ways you can take care of your parents’ health without treading on any toes in the process.
1. Gift Them Fresh Produce Home Deliveries
If there’s one thing your parents hate, it’s you “wasting” your hard-earned money on gifts for them. So, instead of buying them a smartphone that they secretly hate, or a cable subscription they’ll never use, consider supporting one of the up-and-coming organic produce businesses on their behalf. Best of all, most of them are willing to deliver, so even if you don’t live nearby, Mom and Dad needn’t lift a finger.
A weekly delivery of fresh organic produce will go a long way towards ensuring that your folks get the benefits of eating healthy food. Will it go to waste? Not if your parents are anything like mine!
2. Help Them to get Active
There’s an old saying that says we lose what we don’t use, and that’s especially true of seniors and mobility. Staying mobile means keeping active and getting enough exercise. How you help will depend a lot on your location and your parents’ age, abilities, and personal preferences.
For example, if you live near fairly active elders, the best way to encourage them will be to join in. Go for walks (or runs) together, or spice things up with a workout that’s designed to match their abilities. Do consult a fitness professional if you are worried about accidentally setting the bar too high.
If you live further away, or your folks aren’t in good health, you may need to involve a doctor and a fitness trainer in your plans. However, there are also community centers that arrange and supervise fitness classes for older adults. Paying the subscription fees will encourage your parents to attend, and they may find it to be a pleasant social outing too!
3. Encourage Socializing
Elderly parents are prone to depression when they have too little social contact with others and a dearth of interests to keep them busy. Your regular visits and phone calls could mean the world them.
You can also encourage them to socialize by participating in community activities, clubs, and societies. Even if you live far away, you should find plenty of information on available activities that might suit your parents online or by calling local support groups.
During the Covid-19 epidemic, socializing in person is out of the question. Instead, a lot of social activities have moved online. Help by giving Mom and Dad pointers that will help them to pursue their interests in safety.
4. Make Sure They Don’t Skimp on Medical Matters
Last, but not least, let’s not forget that your parents’ medical needs will increase as they age. The last thing you want is them avoiding the doctor because they’re worried about the expense. Of course, they will have some cover through Australia’s Medicare Services – but that doesn’t guarantee that all treatment will be free.
It’s worth investigating on their behalf to see if there are any gaps in their cover. If you find any, additional insurance, for example, Aetna Medigap policies, could be the solution to the problem.
Take Your Time – Mom and Dad are Worth it!
At our time of life, we’re on the move and ready for the fast-paced world we’re so familiar with. It’s easy to outrun your parents leaving them feeling rushed, confused, and hesitant. And if they think you’re being bossy, there’s a good chance that they’ll dig in their heels and refuse to cooperate with your well-intentioned interventions.
Your folks are already set in their ways, so if you’re hoping to encourage positive change, patience and persistence will be your watchwords. Be gentle. Listen to their concerns, and if it’s at all possible, help them to feel like it was all their idea in the first place.
Good luck! They’re worth it!