How to Change Your Aging Parent’s Unhealthy Habits

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Changing a Loved One's Bad Habits in Tampa Bay, FL

Almost everyone has a few unhealthy habits, and these habits become more dangerous as people age. Older adults often get set in their ways, so they resist changing their habits right when it becomes most essential to stop smoking, eat healthy, and exercise. Convincing your senior loved one to change his or her habits may be challenging, but the following tips can help.

Express Your Concerns in a Sensitive Manner

Like many other family issues, openly communicating is the most effective way to begin. Many seniors will immediately resist if they feel like their child is trying to boss them around, so it’s important to avoid coming across as condescending, nagging, or controlling. Instead, try to frame the issue as you being concerned about your parent. You may want to bring up recommendations from the doctor, and try to carefully consider how your parent is feeling.

Learn the Reason for Each Habit

Before you rush in and start coming up with plans to switch out habits, try to take the time to think about the underlying causes of the habits. For example, your loved one might constantly be eating junk food because he or she no longer has the energy to cook healthy meals, or he or she might not be following medication instructions because of depression. In many cases, you need to address a mental or physical health issue before moving on to managing the habit.

Consider hiring a professional caregiver if your loved one needs help preparing nutritious meals or managing daily tasks. Whether your elderly loved one needs part-time assistance with basic household chores or you need a break from your caregiving duties, the Clearwater respite care experts at Home Care Assistance are here to help. All of our respite care services are backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts.

Change Habits Together

Younger people typically don’t have to watch their sodium intake or perform arthritis exercises, which may make seniors feel resentful. You can ease these feelings by going along with your loved one and switching your habits as well. Having a buddy can be very encouraging, and your loved one is more likely to stick with a habit change if your actions are helping him or her stay accountable.

Work on Building Healthy Habits Instead of Stopping Unhealthy Ones

It’s always easier to start a new habit instead of quitting an old one. You can use this psychology trick to make it easier for your parent to change his or her habits. Frame a habit change as something positive, like “eat more fruit,” instead of something negative like “eat less ice cream” to get your loved one in the right mindset to make a change.

Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Clearwater Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.

Create Clear, Easily Achievable Goals

When first trying to get rid of unhealthy habits and start healthy ones, vague or intimidating goals can be overwhelming. Large, overarching plans like “stop smoking” may seem too big to be possible, or your loved one may have no clue of how to reach the end goal. Help your parent build a solid plan and detail each step he or she needs to take to reach the new goal.

If your loved one needs help maintaining healthy habits, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust Clearwater senior home care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life. Call Home Care Assistance at (727) 330-7862 to learn more about our premier in-home care plans.

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