Ageing parents: Old age is a vulnerable stage in life even though it is known that life’s golden years. The decline in the overall health of the elderly population is due to a variety of other problems in addition to diseases that are specific to old age. Their ability to reason and think begins to decline as they age.
Moreover, there is a disturbance in their speech and movements. They start acting like children when they start to experience basic insecurity. These conditions can result in unstable moods, depression, anxiety, or diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Let’s learn a few simple ways in which you can care more and better for your ageing parents.
1. Pay more attention
As one ages, people crave love, care, and attention from their loved ones. Children should make an effort to understand the needs and fears of their ageing parents.
Dr Ananya Das from Manipal Hospital says, “We should spend more time with our parents and lend emotional support to them. Also, keeping a check on their medications sends a positive message that their kids still care for them even though they are busy in their own life. They should encourage them to lead an active life so that they don’t suffer from any mental health conditions.”
2. Facilitate movement
Elderly people are particularly susceptible to developing chronic medical conditions including diabetes, high blood pressure, and arthritis as they age. Parents should be encouraged to engage in regular physical activity by their children as this can help to delay or even reverse many age-related health issues.
Even if they are unable to engage in any physical exercise due to any existing medical conditions, they can at least maintain some movement.
Dr Das adds, “The physical activities must include 150-minute of walking a week, which equals to 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. They can also indulge in yoga, muscle-strengthening workouts, and balance exercises twice a week which can help in fall prevention.”
3. Nutritional diet is a must
In order to preserve good physical health, ageing parents need to eat a nutritious, balanced diet. As we get older, we need more minerals like calcium, iron, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin D, and folic acid. Regular meals should contain a diet rich in all necessary minerals and vitamins, including plenty of fruits, green vegetables, dairy products, meat, fish, beans, and pulses. Dehydration and other health issues occur from reduced thirst sense as people age.
“Children must ensure that their parents drink at least 6-8 glasses of water per day”