How to Best Manage Your Loved One’s Health
Gandhi said it best, “It is health that is real wealth, not pieces of gold and silver.” We often don’t realize how valuable our health is until it’s too late. That’s why we must prioritize it every single day, especially those of us who are seniors or take care of seniors.
A healthy lifestyle is essential to living the most abundant life in your senior years. If you are a caregiver to a senior loved one, there are three core ways you can help keep track of their health. Our assisted living team in Pitman, NJ has provided insight into these methods and hope they will prove useful in your caregiving journey.
- Accompany them to all doctor appointments. Arguably, this is the single best way to keep track of your senior loved one’s health. By accompanying them to all doctors’ appointments, you will acquire the most up-to-date information regarding their health status. If there is something in particular you are concerned about, make a list of questions to discuss with their doctor beforehand. Have you noticed any new symptoms? Are any of their prescribed medications causing harmful side effects? You may notice things that your loved one doesn’t realize or forgets to ask about which can prove very helpful in the long run.
- Figure out a solid medication management plan. It’s normal for older adults to take multiple medications. It’s also very easy to get them mixed up, accidentally skipping a dose of one and taking a double dose of another. Fortunately, there are different ways to make managing medications easier. For one, buy a color-coded, easy-to-read weekly pillbox and help set it up for mom or dad. Then, decide on a set time to take the AM and PM pills. Once times are set, your senior loved one can use timers on their smartphones or even apps to remind them to take their medications correctly, and on time. You could also set the same timers or download the same on your phone as a back-up. This may take some time and trial and error to figure out what works best for you and most importantly, your loved one.
- Encourage healthy diet and exercise. In short, exercise has been proven to enhance seniors’ health, strength, sleep, mood and lower the risk of falls! Just 30 minutes a day of strength and cardio training will help older adults build the necessary muscle mass to keep them moving without any extra help.
Try yoga, dance classes and short walks around the neighborhood with mom or dad to get started. However, it’s highly recommended to check with their doctor before starting a new exercise routine to ensure two critical things: 1. The exercises are within their ability to perform safely and 2. The exercises won’t make any existing medical conditions worsen.
Couple this new exercise plan with nutritious foods that are easy to prepare. If your loved one does not acquire the master cooking skills of Chef Ramsey, don’t worry! Instead, bring over some healthy frozen meals that can be easily reheated in the oven at a later date. You could also use this opportunity to take a look at their current fridge situation to make sure they aren’t holding onto greasy or expired food.
Assisted living care services in Pitman, NJ
Here at United Methodist Communities at Pitman, we encourage a healthy senior lifestyle for all assisted living residents with a well-equipped team of licensed nurses, therapists and other health specialists. Our care team can manage many complex medical conditions, all while ensuring a proper diet and exercise plan that is – dare, we say it – fun! Activities like group chair yoga can help keep senior residents engaged and social with people their own age. Put your loved one’s health in the best hands possible by considering UMC at Pitman for assisted living.
If your loved one requires assisted living care services, please call our senior community in Gloucester County to find out how we can meet their needs, as well as yours. To learn more about our senior care options across New Jersey, please contact United Methodist Communities today at: https://umcommunities.org/new-jersey-elder-care-options/