Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

5 Natural Ways to Help Your Elderly Parents’ Overall Health

Our parents are getting older, so it’s natural for us to become more concerned about their health. Even if your mother and father are able to get around and complete daily tasks with ease, there are still some precautions elderly individuals should take to preserve muscle and joint health and improve their overall wellbeing. Here are some natural ways to improve your parents’ health even if you can’t be with them every day.

Concentrate on Prevention

Make sure your parents are keeping up with their immunizations for conditions like pneumonia and influenza. These sicknesses have a severe effect on the elderly population. It’s also a good idea to schedule preventative care visits for your parents or remind them to do so. During these visits, the doctor will check your parent’s colon health, cholesterol levels, and heart function. Preventative care visits are also covered under Medicare, which can help your parents stay within their monthly or yearly budget.

Prescription Drug Alternatives

Check with your parents often to see how they’re feeling after taking prescription medication, especially if the prescription is new. Depending on your parents’ state of health, you should check with his/her physician to learn the benefits and side effects of medications. Take note of new symptoms that your parents may exhibit from taking new medications, such as loss of appetite, allergic, reactions, or drowsiness. Talk to your parents’ physician(s) about natural supplements that won’t interfere with prescription medicines. For instance, you can find several varieties of CBD gummies online to treat pain, inflammation, and insomnia. If you’re thinking about purchasing CBD for your parents, notify their respective doctors.

Social Interaction

Even though your mother and father are getting older, they should still make time to engage in the hobbies and activities they enjoy. Encourage your parents to spend time with family members and friends who make them laugh. Elderly people, like people of all ages, need to laugh and experience feelings of closeness and security for their mental health. If your parents live in or near a senior community, check to see if there are local events like dances, card games, book clubs, or cooking classes your mother and/or father can participate in. These activities allow your parents to meet individuals they may have things in common with and form new friendships.

Diet Adjustments

Your parents should pay special attention to their diets as they get older. It’s important to cut out white flour, processed foods, and refined sugar and replace them with whole-grain pasta and bread. Fresh fruits and vegetables are essential for a healthy diet and contain vitamins and minerals for improving circulation, preserving eyesight, and managing weight. Seniors should also stay away from saturated fats, which means lean meats like grilled or sauteed fish and chicken are a healthier choice than fried, fattier meats. Prepare foods like oatmeal for your parents to give them more fiber and improve heart health. Since oatmeal calms the digestive system and contains magnesium and calcium which helps prepare your body for a good night’s sleep, you can prepare oatmeal cookies for your parents as a healthy treat.

Activity and Sleep Habits

It’s essential for elderly individuals to get enough sleep to decrease muscle pain and improve memory function. Unfortunately, many seniors have insomnia and other sleep disturbances due to digestive discomfort or certain medications. Keep your mother or father’s room relaxing and quiet in the evenings by closing all the blinds and playing instrumental jazz or classical music to calm the mind. You can also purchase an essential oil diffuser for your parents’ bedroom. Oils like lavender, chamomile, and rose can soothe the nervous system and help your mother or father fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.

Your parents should exercise often as well. Encourage your mother and father to walk or jog daily. If they have joint pain or inflammation, you can enroll them in a water aerobics class so they can get the cardiovascular and weight loss benefits of exercise without damaging their joints.

These practical tips can make your parents feel better mentally and physically while giving you the peace of mind of knowing your mother and father are making their health a priority.

Tim Esterdahl

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