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5 Ways to Change Your Elderly Loved One’s Unhealthy Habits

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Many seniors have bad habits they develop over the years, which could affect their health, wellbeing, and overall quality of life. You can use the following tips to motivate your aging loved one to change his or her lifestyle. 

1. Appeal to Your Loved One’s Soft Side 

Your parent is unlikely to listen to you if you use negative language. Instead of being harsh, try to make appeals to your loved one’s conscience. For instance, you could talk about how switching to healthy foods can help your parent live long enough to watch your kids grow up.

If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of home care. Lehigh Valley Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives.  

2. Drop the Subject 

Once you’ve appealed to your loved one’s emotions, give the topic a few days of rest. By letting go of the topic for some time, your loved one may not feel pushed into making changes just because someone asked him or her to do so. Dropping the subject lets your loved one think about it for a few days and become more receptive when you bring the conversation back up again. 

3. Offer to Do It Together

Teamwork makes tasks easier, and you can use this concept to help your parent feel capable of making a major lifestyle change. Many bad habits develop from loneliness. For instance, your parent may have no desire to go for a walk if he or she doesn’t have someone to talk to. Show your loved one you’re on his or her team by offering to make healthy lifestyle choices together.  

Seniors who need motivation and positive reinforcement to make healthy lifestyle choices should consider professional in-home care. In Lehigh Valley, elderly care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.

4. Document the Progress

Documenting your loved one’s progress may help him or her stay motivated. If your loved one is focusing on weight management, take a few before and after photos to record the progress. In the event your parent is quitting smoking, create a chart to track changes in blood pressure or other vitals. Make the chart or photos easily accessible so your loved one can revisit them anytime he or she needs a motivation boost.

5. Set Up a Reward System 

As you help your loved one track the progress, consider setting up a reward system that supports the lifestyle changes. For instance, you could offer to purchase a new pair of walking shoes if your loved one achieves his or her step goals for the week. New kitchen gadgets, special outings, and even a beauty treatment are all potential rewards that can keep your parent working toward a healthier lifestyle.

Making healthy lifestyle choices isn’t always an easy job for older adults. From exercising to preparing nutritious meals, seniors may need help with an array of tasks. 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. Lehigh Valley seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers. To create a comprehensive in-home care plan for your aging parent, give us a call at 484-350-3874 today.