Food Restrictions For Senior Parents

 

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Taking care of elderly parents must be one of your top priorities in life. As an adult offspring, it is your responsibility to ensure that your senior parents are in good health all the time. According to Donna M. White, LMHC, CACP, “Scientific research shows that eating healthy can drastically change your mood and improve your way of life.” Take note that they are not getting any younger. You must exert some effort in making sure that they avoid a specific set of good. As early as now, it is significant to emphasize that the secret to a long life is choosing to follow a healthy lifestyle. Below are some of the food restrictions for senior parents:

 

Coffee

Caffeine has become famous all over the world. Many people have made it a part of their daily intake. While coffee may offer some benefits to its consumers, it is also established that too much of this kind of beverage can cause serious health problems. Always remember that seniors have a lower tolerance for the adverse effects of coffee. Because of this, it is necessary to remind your senior parents to drink coffee in moderation.

 

Sugar

 

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One of the most common sicknesses suffered by elderly individuals is diabetes. This illness is something that you need to take seriously. When any of your parents have diabetes, it is possible that they would encounter complications in their medical condition. As such, your primary goal is to keep them away from sugar. In preparing for their food, be sure to lessen or eliminate the use of sugar to taste.

 

Cholesterol

Fatty foods can lead to increasing the risks to the health of your senior parents. In fact, these can cause problems for the functions of its circulatory system. Keep in mind that high concentrations of cholesterol in the blood can also lead to atherosclerosis. Another possible scenario is the development of heart disease, which could eventually end in a heart attack.

 

Carbonated Drinks

If your senior parents are fond of drinking carbonated drinks, then find ways to make them stop consuming it. Tell them that soft drinks are bad for their health. These beverages are high in sugar, which can trigger problems that could lead to diabetes. Aside from this, it can also result in stroke especially when the body could not handle too many unhealthy elements or components inside it. Matthew Smith, Ph.D. shares that, “Water continues to be a healer, perhaps one we should consider more carefully.”

 

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 Processed Foods

As much as possible, it is necessary to add some fresh vegetables and fruits in the diet of your parents. Do not let their consumer processed or canned foods. As you probably know by now, these contain preservatives that can be unhealthy for your senior parents. As an alternative, go for natural foods that are rich in fiber. If they are staying in your place, be sure to keep the processed foods in storage areas that are not readily accessible for them. When you do this, you would be able to help them decrease their cravings for such foods.

 

Watching the diet and lifestyle of your old mom and dad is essential for their well being. Do not take them for granted by helping them avoid the restricted foods. Be there to support them every step of the way. This is the point of their lives when they could use some assistance from you. “Knowing the multidimensional aspects of wellness can help to improve your health,” shares Shainna Ali Ph.D., LMHC.

More Than Being Filial – Caring For My Elders

When we get older one thing is for sure – our parents will get old, too.   Are you ready for that time?  The time when it’s no longer your parent who’s going to look after your welfare, but the other way around?  How do you view this?  Does it worry you as a burden, or would you like to prepare early on being the filial child? “If older caregivers have health problems themselves and become mentally or emotionally stressed, they’re at a higher risk of dying,” said Richard Schulz, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh.

 

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Sacrifice Is A Natural Thing For Parents

Some parents tend to give everything they can for their children’s welfare and security.  Parents sacrifice a lot of themselves by working hard and setting goals that they try to meet in whatever way they can, even if it means less rest and less time for themselves.  They set aside what they want to do in life just to provide the needs and wants of their children.  Their happiness often depends on how well they can support and raise their children to be better than them in every way.  Being a parent is a tough challenge that comes within our lifetime.

 

The responsibilities and duties of my own parents come beyond themselves because they have more than one life to take care of.  They always think of how to sustain the everyday challenges and ways to fight back as life pushes them through the corner of hardships.  My parents sacrificed a lot for us just to see us reaching our dreams and wants in life, and they expect nothing much in return.   Making both ends meet is my parents’ exceptional talent.

 

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Pay Back Time Or Giving Back?

Time will come when my parents would no longer be able to work as much as they used to. Even doing their activities of daily living will one day be impossible for them to perform.   As my parents continue to grow old, they can depend on no one else but us, their children.   It is our turn to tend and care for them, not the way they cared and looked after us because we can never equal that.   But the closest we can do for them is to support them, especially on how they wish to be in their days of retirement. Older parents might do better to try to understand and address the child’s concerns. According to Karen Fingerman PhD, “We found in our research that when the middle-aged adult is worried about the aging parent, the parent is both annoyed by that and feels more loved.”  It may be difficult for us to give them their old age needs because of many things running down on our own plate, but proper parent care and planning have a variety of ways for our parents to feel loved and at the same time cared for by us.

 

If we think of their old age as payback time, it will just burden us.   But if we think of it as an act of gratitude for what our parents have done for us, it becomes easier as we think of it as the time to give back. After all, we will not be who we are if not for them.

 

Planning Ahead Of Time Makes Things Easier

Planning care for our parents early on is the least we can do for the sacrifices they’ve done for us.  It can help lessen the hassle of knowing that we have outgrown our parents in making a living.  By the time our parents can no longer strive for life, planned parent care is indeed the greatest gift we can give them.

Planned parent care compromises insights into things that our parent wants to have, in the sense that they will feel content and happy in their current state.  Planning early on for the retirement of our parents is something manageable while we still don’t have much responsibility.   We do the planning with them.  Ask away the stuff they want or need when they reach a certain age, the age where they feel that they can no longer do the usual things they used to do in the past years.

 

Looking after our parents’ welfare especially when they are old is one of the best ways to communicate to them how grateful we are for all that they have done for us.

 

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When we come to that age wherein we are the ones who are giving the care our parents need, they can view this as very fulfilling, especially seeing us become successful enough to provide them with their needs such as medication.

 

Sadly, the last thing to think about is when our parents step up to graduate life.   But before that day comes, it would be nice that they feel our filial love through our care in their old age. “When your days as a caregiver have ended, you’ll want to look back and know you did the best you could for your parent,” Alexis Abramson, Ph.D. says. “You’ll want to know you made the most of the last days, months and years with your loved one — surviving the bad times but always remembering to seek out and cherish the good. Just as important, you will want to have a life to return to, filled with people you love, activities that interest you, and the good health to enjoy them.”

Top Things To Consider: Living With A Senior Parent

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Growing up is part of life, and it is something that you cannot avoid. It means that being an adult is indispensable as well as caring for an old parent. Whether you like it or not, everyone expects you to be there for your senior parents when they grow old. You cannot escape this responsibility. It is only right that you make an effort to help them enjoy a good life after retirement. According to Carol Bradley Bursack, “Regardless of who moves in with whom, the decision to cohabitate with aging parents is a serious one that affects all relationships within a family, careers, finances, and the physical and mental health of everyone involved.”

Continue reading “Top Things To Consider: Living With A Senior Parent”

Top 3 Common Things That Kids Forget About Aging Parents

 

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Now that you are already an adult, you probably spend most of your time doing work at the office or running your own business. Sometimes, you will feel that the twenty-four hours you get a day are no longer enough for all the things you want to do. Because of this, there is a high tendency that you will miss spending time with your aging parents. While this is only typical of an adult, it is not an excuse for doing it regularly.

Continue reading “Top 3 Common Things That Kids Forget About Aging Parents”

Helping Elderly Parents Make A Bucket List

I grew up knowing that my family was not well-off. Both my mother and father had to work full-time to provide my needs, as well as my siblings’. There were only a couple of times every year when our wish to buy toys would be granted, too: during our birthdays and on Christmas day. And while my classmates would always display their new bags and clothes on the first day of the school year, I would be there in my not-so-new clothes and the same bag that I used last year. Continue reading “Helping Elderly Parents Make A Bucket List”

Why You Should Let Your Elderly Parents Eat Dark Chocolate

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“Is adding dark chocolate on your healthy eating plans a good idea?”

This is the question that a lot of people ask, especially by the chocolate lovers who find it challenging to get rid of this yummy treat completely. Yes, it is hard to let go of this delicate chocolate, so you may be thrilled to know that dark chocolate is an excellent addition to your diet.

There have been whispers before that dark chocolate is great for your health. No, these are not made up by chocolate manufacturers who want to earn more profits. According to some studies, what makes dark chocolate better and healthier than other kinds of chocolate is the substantial amount of cocoa left in the product. White or milk chocolate tastes sweet because there are more sugar, milk solids, and other additives in it than cocoa, you see. And since chocolates go through the heating process, that little content gets even smaller. Dark chocolate, on the other hand, is bittersweet, but the health benefits of cocoa are still intact.

In case you still can’t decide whether you should give dark chocolates to your elderly parents, here are more reasons why you should do it.

Blood Pressure Normalization

Some researches show that dark chocolates have cocoa polyphenols. These are micronutrients that help reduce a person’s blood pressure without affecting their body weight. The change may not happen as soon as you take a bite on your dark chocolate, but you will eventually see it. Not to mention, you must admit that it tastes better than any medicine prescribed by your doctor.

Combats Free Radicals

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The nutrients in dark chocolate improve the movement of your arteries. Aside from that, its antioxidants are great against free radicals that cause heart diseases and even some forms of cancer. This function is especially beneficial for aging individuals who are prone to such illnesses.

Bad Cholesterol Decline

Dark chocolate should be eaten by people who have high levels of bad cholesterol. It is also great for those who want to reduce weight because eating it makes you lose your appetite and get more energy. Furthermore, it has fiber that can aid in your digestion process, as well as magnesium that reduces risks of blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, and osteoporosis.

Mood Enhancer

If you are feeling sad, get a piece of dark chocolate, and you will have a better outlook on life. After all, cocoa can enhance your mood by aggregating the dopamine activity of your brain. Your parents may feel not so lonely when they can eat it.

Final Thoughts

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Getting darker chocolate is better than having dark chocolate, of course. However, you should know that you may still gain extra pounds if this is all you eat every day. If you munch on dark chocolate nonstop, its health benefits will inevitably be overpowered by its high levels of calorie. Moderation is the key to everything.

We hope that the information above will make you feel less guilty of giving chocolates to your elderly parents. Cheers!

How To Make A Senior Parent Happy

“As they age, our parents might need more help,” says Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S. Everyone needs to start making it a top priority to take good care of his or her parents, especially those who are already in their advanced years. Keep in mind that you must see to it that your senior parents receive the best kind of love and care from you. Otherwise, they will end up getting hurt, which can be crucial as they grow old. According to a therapist, the more a parent grows old, the more he becomes needy for love and attention. Because of this, it is every child’s duty, regardless of age, to meet the mentioned needs.

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Continue reading “How To Make A Senior Parent Happy”

Tips To Make Your Home Safe And Warm For Aging Parents

Psychology suggests it is essential for the total well-being of aging parents that their relationship with their children remains intact as time goes on. Nowadays, it has become a norm that aging elders and parents live with the families of their children. It is the time that grown-ups show back their love to their parents by providing them this time the comfort of life physically, mentally, and emotionally.

“Whether well planned or a sudden emergency, this a challenging task,” according to Suzanne Phillips, Psy.D., ABPP.

The first thing we should keep in mind for taking care of our aging parents is to look around our place of abode. If our parents before busied themselves by turning your home into a child-friendly one, it is your time now to turn your house into an aging-parent-friendly home. “Simple adjustments don’t require a lot of money but can make a big difference”, Bryan Oden says.

While each case is unique, here are some of the basic guidelines that you have to keep in mind in turning your house safe and warm for aging parents:

Install Sufficient Lighting

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The first problem that aging parents encounter involves mobility. They may not be able to see and recognize stuff around the house that much absent any proper lighting. Most of the time, the primary culprit behind accidentally falls, broken bones, cuts, and head injuries is the poor lighting installed in accident-prone areas of our home.

Add more lighting or better yet, install brighter lights on every corner of the house. Give more attention if the bathroom and the kitchen have sufficient lighting because these are areas prone for accidental slips.  

Educate Other Family Members

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It is essential that the other family members can follow about why certain house modifications are happening. It is vital that they know that the safety of your aging parents is one of the utmost priority here, so when confronted with some unforeseeable problem, they know what to do first.

Members of the family should know how to call for help should an emergency occurs. Everyone in the household should know where the emergency hotlines are, who to call for help, and the proper and necessary protocols should a mishap happen inside the house. Each should recognize the signs of health emergency and should have adequate knowledge in giving the appropriate first aid. They should also be able to respond without panicking.

Modify Bathrooms

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Make sure every bathroom in your house is safe for your aging parents. Install proper and brighter lighting, provide non-slip mats, and put grab bars within their reach. Some people opt to put a built-in bench inside the shower to turn it into a step-free entry. Also, check the locks to avoid any possible lock-in incidents.

Consider also how high or low the toilets should be. Low toilets may become a burdensome for them, especially that most of our aging parents have a problem in bending. Keep in mind also where the toiletries are. Don’t put them in high cabinets that would make it hard for them to reach should they need some. Remember that their aging legs and knees make it hard for them to move around, stand up for long, and to tiptoe, especially in slippery places like the bathroom.

Provide Easier Access And Opening

Check your doorknobs and reconsider the sliding doors in your home. It is undeniably hard for the aging parents to open (especially slide-open) and close more massive doors. Take note also springing or self-closing doors that may hit your parents, especially if they have already problems with mobility.

Take an indoor tour of the whole house and check if your stuff arrangement and even the color of the walls are conducive for your aging parents’ relaxation. Repair any cracked furniture and floors. Remove any clutter on the floors. Check if your own children’s toys (balls, bikes, Lego bricks) are tucked correctly in their proper places.

Call Someone To Help

If you still feel that your house is not that safe yet for your aging parents, do not ever be shy to call a professional one to help you in your new home arrangements. You can request any occupational or physical therapists or aging care experts in your area to inspect your house and advise you of what you can do more.

Creating a safe place inside the walls of your home is one of the best things that your aging parent will thank you for forever. More often than not, they may not say this all the time, but the comfort of life starting in the confines of the home is what they always desire. The above tips are not that hard to follow, primarily if we educate the other family members for this endeavor.

“In many instances you will need to contact social services for help determining alternate living and care options for your loved one,” shares Carol Bradley Bursack.

Helping Your Aging Parents Maintain Their Physical And Mental Health

 

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Your aging mom and dad may be struggling a little in doing everything they used to do, but it doesn’t mean that we’ll just let them give up on keeping up with what’s new and maintaining what they still have. Physical and mentalhealth can still improve or be maintained. We as children can still help our loving parents have an awesome quality of life, lengthen their lifespan, and make sure that they have something worthwhile to do – with or without us.

The guidelines of the CDC for physical activity are the constant for all adults, no matter how old. This suggests that being too old to exercise is out of the question. According to Dona Matthews Ph.D., “You can make time for creativity, play, outdoor time, nature exploration, community involvement, the arts, science experiments, or project learning.” Even seniors who’ve been living sedentary lives are encouraged to be physically active so that they can stay fit and healthy. Let us look at some of the activities you can do with your aging parents to keep them maintain their physical and mental health regardless of age.

Low Impact Sports

Basic courses in dancing, golf, and other low to moderate impact sports provide wonderful means of challenging your beloved seniors’ bodies and minds. You can pay for these classes as your birthday or Christmas gift to them. If you have a shy aging parent, this can be your way of encouraging them to get out, get moving, and meet new friends.

Yoga

According to Deborah Khoshaba Psy.D., “Yoga increases body awareness, relieves stress, reduces muscle tension, strain, and inflammation, sharpens attention and concentration, and calms and centers the nervous system.” The gentle stretching, breathing, and balancing techniques in yoga can alleviate joint pain, stiffness, and tension. Yoga can be a great starter activity for sedentary seniors. For parents who are seasoned sports enthusiasts, they can always do yoga for cool down and relaxation. It’s a great cure for stress, and it also relieves minor injuries and mobility problems.

Water Aerobics

This is one of the most suitable physical activities for our aging parents. It burns a lot of calories, stimulates the entire body, and yet doesn’t cause joint pain, unlike jumping rope, running, or other aerobic exercises. If you want, you can join them in their classes. There’s a range of movements from simple, moderate, and competitive. There are gymnasiums or village swimming pools that offer free or discounted rates for seniors. Take advantage of these.

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Arts And Crafts

According to Nicole Pipitone, MAAT, LPC, “Art therapy establishes communication between people and allows a person to find a sense of clarity or understanding that may be difficult to do by using words alone.” Knitting, scrapbooking, and painting are mentally challenging arts and crafts activities that are relatively doable for every adult age level. These will enable your parents to preserve and even improve their fine motor skills, especially when they do a new technique daily. They can do these activities on their own at home or join a club or group in the neighborhood so they can socialize.

Tell your aging parents that you bought them arts and crafts membership cards for them. That would probably motivate them especially if you tell them it wasn’t cheap. When they’ve been joining the club for a few months, ask them to teach you what they learned from it. If they’ve mastered knitting, then let them teach you and the grandkids – make it a family tradition or something. It’ll surely make them proud and flattered. It would also increase their interest in learning new activities.

Outdoor Activities

The outdoors offer loads of vitamins, which aging parents particularly need to prevent bone problems like osteoporosis. Vitamin D is also a weapon against depression and anxiety. However, for seniors who really don’t have the knack for exercise whether it’s outdoor or indoor, here are a few options to make your parents get up from that chair and spend quality time outdoors.

  • Most of our aging parents love to tinker in the garden, so invest in things that make this hobby easier for them. You can buy them raised beds that they can take care of while standing.
  • Walking and hiking clubs. They’ll love not only the walks but also the talks.
  • Short vacation in the woods. If you can spare some extra, pay for a week’s vacation for your parents to stay in a cabin in the woods.

Travel

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Retired life is a great time for your parents to travel if they’re well and able. Exploring other states or other countries can add vigor and strengthen their relationship as a couple, even if they’re already old. After all, building and strengthening bonds doesn’t depend on age. Cruising is also one great adventure for them, especially if they love traveling by boat. The entertainment, the food, and the music will stimulate them.

Final Thoughts

Remember that although your parents are considered seniors, they’re not limited to doing activities only under the ‘senior’ category. Allow them to feel young and let them discover their capabilities. Work with them on some activities. Accommodate your parents’ changing needs and desires. It’s not forever that we get to be with them.

 

 

 

Effective Communication Tips To Aging Parents

One of the inevitable things that you will eventually face in life is dealing with aging parents or those who are already in their senior years. Whether you like it or not, it is your responsibility to connect with them because they are the reasons why you are in this world. Take note that your family will never exist were it not for your loving mother and father. Now that they are already in their old age, it is time to repay them for all the sacrifices that they have made to help you succeed.

 

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Unfortunately, adult children and senior parents get into fights and misunderstandings because of poor communication. “So it’s important to take a deep breath before having a conversation about a sensitive topic and recognize the feelings that you have about the issue,” according to Dr. Amy D’Aprix. For this reason, we have decided to dedicate our next article on the site to talk about effective communication tips that one can use in dealing with an aging parent. Here are some of the things that you can do:

 

Show Empathy

 

According to Christina Steinorth, MFT, a psychotherapist, “Aging is a series of losses — loss of employment, health and energy, friends, mobility, and independence.” Consider how you’d feel if you were in their situation.” Remember that the circumstances for you and that of a senior parent are different from each other. You cannot expect him to be the same individual that he was ten or twenty years ago. Remind yourself that everything is changing in his life and it can be scary. He may not show it, but your parent is probably thinking of how old he is already.

 

Together with it is the thought that he is no longer as strong and great as he is in the past. For this reason, you have to increase your empathy around him. Imagine being in his shoes so that you can become a more understanding child.

 

Talk Everyday

 

Now that you have understood the significance of empathy, the next thing that you have to remember is to let your senior parent know that you are more than willing to converse with him. Never make the mistake of showing him that you are too busy at work or in business. Otherwise, he may end up hating or resenting you for it.

 

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Of course, you cannot afford it if your parent will feel remorseful against you. Hence, you may end up becoming the bad guy in the family. What is essential is to connect with your parent regardless of your hectic schedule. Keep in your mind that he may not be around for long in your life.

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Make Phone Calls

 

If your aging parent leaves away from you, especially if he is staying in a nursing home, the least that you could do is to make regular phone calls to him. Never give him an idea to start thinking that you have abandoned him. It will surely crush his heart into tiny little pieces. Instead, connect to him in another way.

 

Consider yourself lucky because nowadays, you can already enjoy the various advancements in technology. Pick up your cellphone today and dial the number of your beloved parent. He will surely be happy to receive a call from you.

 

Be A Good Listener

 

Many people make the mistake of thinking that communication involves talking and speaking only. What they do not know is that it also covers listening. When talking to your parent, be sure to practice the art of listening thoroughly to the other person. As already mentioned above, there is a high chance that you will suffer from a severe illness if you do not calm down.

 

For every conversation that you have, make sure to show him that you are listening to what he is saying. As such, do not hesitate to ask questions or clarifications from him. It will make him feel validated knowing that you are listening to him even if you are already an adult.

 

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Choose The Topics

 

As much as possible, avoid talks or topics that can put spark an argument between you and your parent. For example, do not raise money talks if your beloved parent is not comfortable discussing it. He may be suffering from a financial loss and talking about it will break his heart. If there are sensitive topics to discuss, maybe the smart thing to do is to check whether he is in a good mood to talk or not.

 

The safe topics can include updates about his grandchildren or his favorite movies and TV shows that he now enjoys watching. Make sure to put this in mind so that you can prevent hurting the feelings or emotions of your parent.

 

Conclusion

 

Senior parents may be challenging to deal with, but everything is easy if you know how to do the things mentioned above. Remember that the basic foundation of any relationship to parents is respect. Just because your parent is already aging does not give you the right to feel like you are already above them. Show respect to an aging parent by following his requests. Follow the effective communication tips mentioned above for more clients. “Talking with your parents about tough issues is not easy. But if approached the right way, it can strengthen and enrich your relationship with each other and be a tender way of expressing your love and care for them,” says GARY GILLES, LCPC.