As your elderly family member’s caregiver, it’s often up to you to help her adopt new, healthier habits. You can also help her to experience more success than she might have thought possible by embracing just a few of these tips.
Choose Healthy Habits She Actually Likes
Nobody really likes to completely revamp their entire life, like giving up salt forever, for example. But sometimes those changes are necessary. If it’s at all possible, try to choose new habits that your senior at least likes a little bit. Doing so makes it easier for your elderly family member to stick with the new habit.
Tackle One Change at a Time
No one’s lifestyle is perfectly healthy, of course, so chances are that your elderly family member needs to make at least a couple of changes. If you can stick with one change at a time, though, it’s less overwhelming. Making too many changes all at once could make even the most motivated and dedicated person throw in the towel. Your senior might want to start with a difficult change first or go with the easiest. It all depends on her perspective.
It Isn’t a Race
Remember that this isn’t a situation that you have to rush. Your elderly family member can make some big changes, but she needs to be patient with herself and with the overall process. Bad habits or less than healthy lifestyle choices don’t take hold overnight and neither do positive habits and choices. Your elderly family member needs to have the time to relearn how to make these decisions.
Keep Track of Progress for Best Results
Any time that you’re helping your senior to make changes, it’s a good idea to track her progress. It’s difficult to make changes that lead to a healthier lifestyle and sometimes it doesn’t feel as if any actual change is happening. With a tracking log or journal, your elderly family member can see at a glance that she’s doing better than she thought she was. She can even ask other people, such as elderly care providers, to help her with tracking finer details.
Setting your elderly family member up for success with positive lifestyle changes might mean that you help her to pick up the slack in other areas, such as with housework or outside chores. Experienced elderly care providers can help you to fill in the gaps when you can’t do everything on your own.