My mom used to put a lot of effort into staying healthy. After she retired, she stopped taking care of herself. She seems to value convenience over health. It’s not uncommon for her to go days without exercising or wearing something other than pajamas.
How can I encourage my senior mom to take better care of herself? I’m not sure what has caused her to lose her life-long motivation.
Karen from Hudsonville, MI
Helping a Senior Loved One Care for Themselves
It’s not unusual for seniors, especially homebodies, to have difficulty getting motivated to take care of themselves. But self-care and personal hygiene are essential for health and wellness at any age.
Here are a few tips for caregivers to encourage senior loved ones to care for themselves.
4 Self-Care Tips for Seniors
A nutrient-rich diet is essential for your overall health and wellness. Many seniors choose convenience over health for various reasons. Getting to the grocery store may be challenging due to driving limitations or distance. They may opt for fast food when they aren’t motivated to cook for one.
Regardless of the reason, nutrient-dense food is essential for health. Offer to cook fresh meals with your mom. If grocery shopping is a concern, invite her shop with you or offer to do her shopping.
It’s a common misconception that you need less sleep with age. Seniors need just as much sleep as younger adults. Encourage a good night’s sleep by offering to arrange your mom’s bedroom for successful rest. To promote good sleep hygiene, make sure the sheets are clean and the room is a comfortable temperature.
There are so many reasons to move your body. Exercise can reduce the risk of many chronic health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and osteoporosis. Physical activity can also improve muscle strength, flexibility, balance, and coordination, which can reduce the risk of falls and fall-related injuries.
When encouraging a senior loved one to work out, remember that starting an exercise routine can be challenging. One way to encourage your mother is to work out together. Even a 15-minute walk in the morning or an afternoon swim can make a world of difference.
Many people don’t realize how important it is to stay social throughout their lives. Feeling connected to others and having strong social ties can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Some studies even show remaining social can lead to a longer life. It can be challenging for seniors to stay social after retirement because they don’t have as many opportunities to make friends.
Help your mom by taking her to a local senior center, helping her find senior classes, or simply taking your mother to places where she can connect with others.
Be Mindful of Limitations
Some seniors may have mobility challenges or health conditions that limit their ability to perform certain activities of daily living. It’s important to approach your mother in a helpful, understanding way. Do your best to be considerate of her boundaries and offer assistance where you can.
I hope this helps you encourage your mother to take care of her health.
Heritage Senior Communities Supports Senior Health
If your senior loved one is struggling to care for themselves, they may benefit from moving to a senior living community where they have assistance. Many communities serve healthy meals and provide plenty of options to stay physically and socially active. Heritage Senior Communities also offers life enrichment programs that encourage personal growth and creativity. The best way to learn about how we support senior wellness is to visit one of our communities. Contact us today to schedule a private tour.