Healthy Aging Month takes place each September. It’s a national event started by Healthy Aging Magazine designed to get people thinking about the things they should do to age well emotionally, physically, and mentally. Here are some of the best ways to help your parents’ age well.
Eat the Right Foods
An older adult’s diet needs to have the right balance of fiber, calcium, antioxidants, beneficial fats, and protein. A diet that contains plenty of vegetables, fruit, lean proteins like fish, dairy or calcium-enriched cereals, whole grains, and legumes is best.
To make this happen, it’s recommended that you take a dinner plate and create imaginary quarters. Place a lean protein, such as a broiled haddock filet, in one quarter. Put a serving of farro pilaf on a quarter. Fill the other two quarters with vegetables and/or fruits.
Talk a Daily Walk
Your parents should go for a walk each day. It’s important for the fresh air and quick dose of vitamin D on sunny days. With comfortable shoes and a walking stick or cane, if needed, your parents benefit from the daily walk. Just 30 minutes is all they need.
Embrace a New Hobby
Do something fun every day. Encourage your parents to find a hobby or take up a hobby they enjoyed in the past. Painting, needlework, baking, and gardening are all great hobbies. If your parents live where it’s impossible to garden outdoors in the fall and winter, set up an indoor hydroponic garden for them to grow some items year-round.
Write Positive Stories in a Journal
It’s easy to get caught up in all of the negativity on the news, in your community, and with those around you. If your parents find themselves constantly surrounded by negativity, keep a journal, and write something positive each day.
It doesn’t have to be about their lives or what’s happening in the world. Instead, get them to write one positive fictional story each day. They can finish it or leave the characters hanging until the next entry. Just keep it positive.
Make Sure Your Parents Socialize
Socialization is important. You may not be able to be there for them, but you can arrange companionship services. You could also get other family members or family friends to stop by.
Caregivers are an important part of aging independently at home. With caregivers, your parents have someone to help them schedule appointments, keep the house clean and organized, and shop for groceries.
Caregivers can cook meals, do the laundry, and provide the companionship your parents need for social and emotional health. Call a home care agency to learn more about caregivers.