Entering your senior years can be a worrisome time. After all, this is the time when various health issues start showing up. However, providers of home health care in California say that there is a way to prepare yourself for this. You have to build healthy habits.
But what habits exactly should you try to get accustomed to exactly? And how do you do that for them to stick? Let’s take a closer look.
A Look At Habit Formation
You probably have heard the adage “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” countless times. That is often what discourages older people from forming new healthier habits. They often feel that they struggle to unlearn the old habits they have been used to and get accustomed to new ones.
This one does have some grain of truth. Since some seniors have memory issues, they might find it hard to recall these new habits. But that does not mean you can’t help them learn and adopt these habits. You can employ various strategies to guide them into taking these habits.
The idea is simple on this one. For the elderly to better understand the habit they are trying to learn, start small. Begin by breaking it down into smaller components. For instance, if they are trying to change their eating habits, start with a small change in their meals.
From there, you can gradually increase the changes that you make. Note that you need to explain each change you make to a senior relative. That helps them better grasp how their habits are slowly changing.
Knowing Their Excuses
Creating new habits requires a significant amount of commitment from a person. And because that would require a lot of effort, some would inadvertently come up with excuses not to commit. Note that they might do this unconsciously.
As such, you need to know what kind of excuses they are likely to make. Observe them so you can understand why they are making these excuses. Often, they might be legitimate reasons behind these. You can then help them gradually get over those excuses.
Replacing Lost Needs
Often the habits that you form arise from trying to meet certain needs. For instance, people might get into smoking or drinking to cope with stress. Thus, when trying to break negative habits and bring in more positive ones, you need to understand these needs.
Explain to your elderly loved one how this new habit they are learning can fill in these. They will be more receptive when knowing that they are losing nothing by changing habits.
Creating A Trigger For Them
An important key for people to better adapt to new habits is remembering to do it at the right time. That can be a challenge for older adults who might have memory issues. Here, what you can do is create a trigger for them.
That is a simple ritual you do before you start a particular activity. For instance, if you are helping them to get a good night’s rest, teach them some quick meditation techniques. Before long, they will be more accustomed to the habit itself without realizing it.
The Healthy Habits Seniors Should Have
There is a multitude of healthy habits that seniors can start getting into. But since we can’t cover all of them, we have selected the ones that you should help them focus on learning. These will serve as the foundation for the other habits that they will want to learn.
Healthy Habit No. 1: Focusing On Prevention
The many health issues that seniors deal with often come from neglecting the signs. As such, the habit they should learn is prevention. That might seem an odd one at this point. But it will still help them protect themselves from complications.
One preventive habit that seniors should get into is undergoing regular medical checkups. It will help them detect potential signs of diseases early and protect themselves. Additionally, they should get essential vaccinations.
Healthy Habit No. 2: Be Active
As people get older, they might end up being a bit more lethargic. That can increase their risks for various conditions like obesity and different cardiovascular diseases. Thus, you need to help them get back on their feet and stay active.
Note that being active doesn’t always mean going through an exercise program. Any form of physical activity can serve as a workout. These can include doing chores and errands. Choose activities that they love doing most to encourage the habit better.
Healthy Habit No. 3: Eat Right
Proper nutrition is one of the essential foundations of healthy living. As such, your elderly loved one is eating right. A good way to do this is to encourage them to be nutrition-conscious. Help them understand the nutritional information available for the food they eat. You also need to help them know what good nutrition can do for them.
In this case, get the assistance of a nutritionist to guide them. They can provide you with additional information to form good eating habits and make them stick.
Healthy Habit No. 4: Manage Stress
Being under a lot of stress has a significant negative impact on one’s overall health. That is more so the case with older adults, who might have a harder time coping with these stressors.
All of the healthy habits that you learn contribute to better stress management. But you can also focus on more specific techniques. For instance, you can teach them stress reduction techniques that they can do on their own, such as simple breathing techniques.
Healthy Habit No. 5: Get Enough Rest
Seniors might often find themselves struggling to sleep at night. That can disrupt their body cycles and affect their health. For this, they need to find a way to get a good night’s rest. Controlled breathing is one way to help them calm their minds down and settle in for the night.
Teach them as well how to shut off various distractions that keep them awake. For instance, they can do counting exercises to take their minds off various thoughts. Additionally, teach them to maintain a consistent sleeping schedule.
Maintain Healthy Habits With The Help Of The Best Home Health Care In California
One last thing to remember is that building and maintaining these habits can take some time. As such, you need to make sure that your senior loved ones can effectively stick to them. Amavi can help you here while providing them with the best home health care in California. Contact us today for consultations.