You love your parents and the time you spend with them. Lately, though, you’ve noticed that they’re not taking care of themselves.
It could be that they haven’t been exercising enough or are not as happy as they used to be.
If you’re concerned that their decisions affect their health, it may be time for you to step in. There are ways to prompt your parents to make healthier decisions without overstepping.
In this article, you’ll learn some advice on where to start:
1. Encourage Them to Exercise
As a person ages, it’s easier to make excuses not to exercise. The reality is that being sedentary takes less work, no matter the age. And for an older person, relaxing is more appealing, especially if they struggle with aches and pains.
But the problem with not getting enough exercise is that it can affect one’s health. A lack of exercise may result in diabetes, heart disease, and other serious health conditions.
If your parents aren’t getting enough exercise, try giving them a gentle nudge. You can prompt them to exercise by finding an activity they’ll like, such as bike riding.
They may be unable to do high-impact exercises like running. If that’s the case, suggest they swim or go on short, leisurely walks.
Encourage them to develop the habit of exercising more often now, so that they can make a habit of it.
2. Be Mindful of Their Mental Health
As a person ages, they’re more prone to depression and anxiety. Why is this? Well, older people experience loss more frequently. Plus, there’s usually a lot of change in their lives.
Be mindful of how your parents are doing mentally. You can do this by keeping a watchful eye on them. If they start to pull away or aren’t as active, something may be up.
If your parents are getting a divorce, for example, one or both parents may be taking it hard. Make it your priority to monitor how they’re both doing (without getting in the middle!). Staying on top of any mental health concerns can prevent them from getting worse as time goes on.
For example, if a parent struggles with depression, make it a priority to be there for them. Without being pushy, suggest that together you come up with some coping techniques. Also, ask them whether they feel therapy or medication can help as they navigate through this challenging time.
3. Suggest They Get Disability Insurance
Working parents should take extra precautions so they can continue to do what they love. One way for them to take care of themselves and their family is by getting disability insurance.
Even if your parents are healthy right now doesn’t mean they shouldn’t get disability insurance. It doesn’t matter the age, disability insurance can make a difference for any professional who’s unable to work.
If they shop for insurance, keep in mind that long-term disability insurance is better. It’s hard to predict how long an injury or illness may prevent someone from working. Long-term disability insurance can cover part of a person’s income for up to five years or longer!
Disability insurance gets more expensive the older a person gets. So, your parents should jump on it as soon as possible.
4. Remind Them to Get Yearly Check Ups
You may have stubborn parents who don’t like going to the doctor. While it’s not the most enjoyable experience, seeing a doctor will keep them on the right path.
If they haven’t run into any health problems, that’s great! Then getting a yearly check up should suffice. They should follow the advice of their doctor if they’re unsure of when to come in.
You may not be sure what’s appropriate for your parents health-wise. If they’re comfortable, ask if you can come along for an appointment. That way, you can help keep them accountable so they won’t miss future appointments.
5. Spend More Time With Them
Your parents aren’t getting any younger, which is why you should spend more time with them! Even if you have a busy career and children to take care of, try to make a concerted effort to see them.
If you’re local, then invite them over often and ask them if they want to watch the kids once in a while. They may not let you know they want to spend time with you. So, it’s up to you to be the instigator.
Socializing with your parents will keep you both young. But, more importantly, you’ll build a positive, happy relationship with one another.
Bonus: Respect Their Wishes
Your parents may have their way of doing things, and that’s okay. However, unless they’re doing something detrimental to their health, it’s best to let them do their thing.
For example, they may desire to travel the world, but you think it’s too dangerous. While you have your own opinions on the matter, it’s still essential they make their own decisions.
You can voice your opinion, but ultimately, you don’t want to smother them. If they’re doing something that keeps them happy, then more power to them!
One day when your parents are in their 80s, you’ll be glad you took the initiative and encouraged them to make better decisions for their health.
It doesn’t take a lot of effort to suggest small ways for them to make welcome changes. It’s best not to overwhelm them with everything all at once, though.
By speaking your parent’s language and being a part of their lives, you’ll no doubt make a difference. Your parents will stay full of energy and live life to the fullest for years to come!
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