We all want our parents to live as long as possible, but as your parents start to age, it can be harder and harder to ensure that they stay healthy. As we get older, we tend to be less interested in staying active or making healthy food choices. As a child, it may take some convincing from you to ensure that dad’s health remains at optimal levels. Keep reading for tips to help dad stay healthy as he gets older.
Focus on Heart Health
Coronary heart disease stands as the leading cause of death in men 65 or older. In fact, 70% of men between the ages of 60-79 suffer from cardiovascular disease. Even if dad has a healthy heart, it’s never too early to take steps to ensure his heart stays healthy. Encourage him to take short walks throughout the day. Too much sitting can have a huge impact on cardiovascular health. Another top tip for keeping his heart healthy is to eat a healthy diet. A heart-healthy diet should include plenty of fruits and vegetables as well as healthy fats. A handful of nuts or avocado on whole grain toast is a great snack to keep dad healthy, happy, and full.
Improve Memory & Brain Function
Forgetfulness is a common part of the aging process for most senior citizens. Misplacing keys or forgetting someone’s name becomes a common occurrence. But, the good news is that there are ways to improve memory and keep the brain functioning as good as it did years ago. To minimize the risk of memory loss, it helps to stay social. By engaging in social activities, there’s less stress in the body and all parts of the brain are exercised. Encourage dad to join a book club, spend time at the local senior center, or have routine conversations with you or other family members.
Another option is to take supplements, such as the best vitamins for memory loss. Vitamins and nutrients that have proven to minimize memory loss are:
- Vitamin B-12
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin C
- Ginkgo Biloba
Talk about the importance of socializing and supplements to reduce the risk of memory loss.
Sexual Health Matters
Talking to dad about sex can be a somewhat awkward conversation, but let’s face it, even older people still crave a close connection with someone else. Men over the age of 50 are much more likely to suffer from a decline in sexual function, notably erectile dysfunction. This can be caused by poor heart health or other health conditions such as diabetes.
If you’re comfortable enough, talk to your dad about his sexual health. Know that living with ED is more than just a physical condition. It can greatly impact your dad’s emotional and mental health. Feeling like less of a man can cause all sorts of self-esteem and self-image issues. Talk with your dad about taking a trip to the doctor to discuss ED. The doctor may offer free Viagra coupons, which can help with dad’s condition.
Encourage Plenty of Sleep
A lack of quality sleep increases the risk of a variety of health conditions. This includes a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, and even obesity. Not getting enough sleep also causes higher levels of stress and inflammation. To ensure your dad is getting plenty of quality sleep, be sure he has a supportive mattress and/or pillow. Being uncomfortable in bed definitely makes it much harder to catch Z’s. You may also want to suggest that your dad has a set sleep schedule, relaxes an hour before bed, and avoids distractions that keep him from getting to bed on time.
Sometimes not getting enough sleep can be caused by health conditions such as sleep apnea or insomnia. Be sure any health issues are dealt with to ensure dad gets the sleep he needs.
Practice Preventive Health
If your dad is stubborn about going to the doctor, you’re definitely not alone. It seems that we get more stubborn and averse to meeting with the doctor, especially as we get older. To keep dad healthy, be sure to encourage him to schedule routine trips to the doctor. Undergoing yearly checkups and screenings will help to ensure your dad is healthy while also keeping tabs on any underlying conditions. Spotting health problems before they become serious is one of the best ways to stay healthy.
Trips to the doctor can be costly, so discuss insurance coverage, especially Medicare, with your dad. Under existing health care laws, preventive health trips are low-cost, if not free.
As a child, keeping your parents healthy as they get older is important. We all want the peace of mind knowing that dad is healthy and well taken care of. Keep these tips in mind to ensure that your dad stays in tip-top health.