Five Tips for Helping Your Senior Dump Unhealthy Habits
January 21, 2019
Unhealthy habits can stick with your aging adult for the majority of her life, but it's never too late for her to give them up and to choose a healthier path. This is not something that's easy to do, though, even when your elderly family member wants to make these changes.
Avoid Nagging Whenever Possible.
Nagging isn't generally helpful when it comes to making behavioral changes, but it's tough not to when you see your senior doing something unhealthy. Try to take a deep breath and rephrase your thought. Put yourself in your senior's shoes and think about how you'd feel if someone were nagging you about something.
Make Sure She Has Information.
Rather than bugging her about changing her ways, you might want to just make sure your elderly family member has the information she needs to come to a conclusion for herself. Her doctor may have informational packets that make this really easy to do.
Try Not to Be Judgmental if She Continues.
Some habits, like smoking, can be really difficult to quit. And if your elderly family member has been smoking for a long time, that makes it even more difficult to quit. Try not to be too judgmental about the situation if your aging adult continues to make the decision to smoke. She may simply need more time.
Help Her Slowly Replace Less Healthy Habits with Better Ones.
Unhealthy habits are habits at their core. They provide a result that your senior enjoys and they are a comfortable routine. When you look at unhealthy habits that way, it's much easier to see why they're so difficult to overcome. If you can gradually phase out or replace bad habits with healthier ones that takes the power of the routine away.
Home Care Can Help.
Having home care providers available to help your elderly family member can support her in making these changes. They can remind her to stick to her new routine and remind her of her goals when necessary. And sometimes it's easier to get these gentle nudges from someone else than it is to get them from you, no matter how gentle you're trying to be.
Remember that it can take time to change over less healthy habits for habits that are healthier and support the lifestyle that your elderly family member wants to be leading. Give her time to decide for herself that she's ready to make a change and empower her to do so.