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7 Unhealthy Habits Older Adults Need to Quit Right Away

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By the time seniors reach their golden years, many of their habits are so ingrained that they don’t think twice about them. In some cases, your aging loved one may also have picked up a few bad habits after being sick or depressed. These seven unhealthy habits should all be addressed immediately to help your loved one increase his or her happiness and longevity.

1. Getting Too Much Screen Time

Kids aren’t the only ones who are getting too much screen time these days. Seniors may rely on their computers too much for socialization or as a way to pass the time. Help your loved one find people to spend time with in real life so he or she can engage in healthier pursuits.

2. Skipping Doctor Appointments

No one likes sitting in the doctor’s office waiting room. However, seniors must stay on top of their health. Ask your loved one why he or she is skipping appointments. If your loved one dislikes driving or sitting alone, provide a companion who can handle the drive and keep your loved one occupied while he or she waits.

A professional in-home caregiver can provide transportation to medical appointments so your loved one can manage his or her health. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of senior care Mesa, AZ, families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.

3. Drinking Too Much Alcohol

Drinking problems often begin in the senior years. Your loved one may have started drinking away his or her feelings after a loss or found that a glass of wine after dinner has now become the whole bottle. Talk to your loved one about the dangers of drinking too much, and arrange for him or her to get help if you notice the signs of a serious drinking problem.

4. Smoking Tobacco Products

Many seniors started smoking when they were young and the risks were only beginning to be understood. While your loved one cannot undo the damage of smoking for years, quitting now can still provide numerous health benefits. Seniors who give up smoking still reduce their chances of developing lung cancer, and they tend to have fewer respiratory ailments as they age.

5. Trying to Do Things Beyond Their Safe Abilities

A can-do spirit is admirable. In fact, most people wouldn’t think that trying to be independent is a bad habit. However, seniors can get into serious trouble when they try to do things that are no longer within their range of abilities. Ask your loved one to stop doing things such as climbing on ladders to change the lightbulbs, and provide someone who can stop by to help, like a professional caregiver.

There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to manage if their families opt for professional at-home care. You can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep your loved one safe and comfortable while aging in place.

6. Opting Out of Exercise

Working out may not be your loved one’s favorite thing to do. However, seniors need to exercise to keep up their health. Help your loved one set up a realistic exercise routine that has rewards in place to help him or her stay motivated.

7. Skipping Meals

In the senior years, eating too little is just as bad as eating too much. Your loved one may opt out of preparing meals if he or she is lonely or cannot cook very well. Offer your loved one assistance with meal planning and food preparation so he or she is able to eat a nutritious diet every day. 

Seniors are the only ones who need to quit unhealthy habits. Family caregivers need to care for their own wellbeing. If you’re caring for an aging loved one and are feeling overwhelmed, consider hiring a professional caregiver to provide respite care. Mesa families who want to prevent burnout can turn to Home Care Assistance. One of our professional caregivers can assist your loved one at home while you take a nap, go to work, run errands, or go on vacation. To find out more about our high-quality in-home care, call (480) 699-4899 today.