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How to Help Your Elderly Parents Stay Healthy

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At some point in life, we might have to return the favor to our parents and guide them to live wisely throughout their senior years. Sometimes, our elders are too tired or depressed to care about all the things they used to and we find ourselves wonderstruck when we face their reckless behavior. But instead of judging them, we can always find ways to help.

1. They still are what they eat

A 2006 Australian report shows that 72% of males and 58% of females between 55 and 64 were obese at the time in Australia. And unfortunately, obesity makes people more likely to suffer from heart disease, diabetes, osteoarthritis and numerous other ailments.  If you notice that one of your parents has weight problems, help them eat better.


Offer to shop for them and council them to find healthier options for the foods they like.  Also, take into consideration that they might eat unhealthy because they don't feel well enough to cook anymore. Hiring someone to prepare meals at least two times per week allows you to have some control over their diet.

2. Encourage an active lifestyle

Diet is not the only thing which keeps weight under control, sport is another important factor. It might be hard to start exercising later in life, but it's mandatory in order to be able to move properly, to avoid pain and even to live longer.

You can offer a Pilates class as a gift to your parent or you can go together to suitable gym classes for a couple of times to get them started. You can also contribute by turning sitting visits to dynamic ones: take them out for a long walk in the park, go for a short hike or rent bikes together.

3. Prepare for emergency

Even with a good diet and plenty of exercise, some age-related issues might come up. Don't let your elderly save money on health insurance! A hospital cover might make the difference if an emergency comes up “it contains ambulance services, the hospital stay in a private facility and you will also have the possibility to choose a doctor.

Hospital cover can also include a number of procedures like knee reconstruction, hip replacement or eye surgery, depending on the price. Take into consideration that in case of pre-existing conditions, the waiting time is 12 months. Knowing your parents receive a premium care in case of trouble will help you feel less stressed in the long-run.

4. Don't neglect mental health

Almost 30% of people between the ages of 75 and 84 live alone. Your parents' social circle has become smaller and smaller in time and now they probably feel less motivated to go out.  Help them find opportunities to socialize, especially if you live far! Community volunteering, art and hobby classes, senior travel groups or a senior socializing club: there are numerous options for your elder.

Even if they are bedridden, you can hire someone to come for a couple of hours daily solely for the purpose of socializing: talking with them, reading to them, telling the latest news.

All things considered, you can help a senior parent to live better, healthier and safer without turning their lives upside down: baby steps still move forward.