Caregivers in Old City PA
One of your most important responsibilities as a family caregiver is helping your parent make the lifestyle choices that will help them to stay as healthy as possible. If your elderly parent has been suffering from cardiovascular issues, has recently experienced a heart attack, or has had heart surgery, their doctor might have recommended that they begin eating a heart-healthy diet. What your parent eats can make a tremendous difference in their heart health and in their ability to maintain their health as they age in place. For many aging adults, however, this can represent a major change in their eating habits. Giving them support and encouragement will be necessary to help them adopt this new diet and stick with it.
Use these tips to help you encourage your elderly loved one to adopt a heart-healthy diet after a heart attack or heart surgery, or just when you are working together to improve their health and well-being for their future:
• Be patient. One of the most important elements of helping your parent adopt a new diet is to commit yourself to being patient with them. Your parent might have been eating largely the same diet for most of their life and the thought of not eating those foods any longer or having to eat new and different foods can be intimidating. While you do not want your parent to take too much time making these changes or allow them to make many excuses, you also do not want to pressure them or push too hard, which can only frustrate them and cause them to go backwards.
• Get recommendations. Talk to your parent’s doctor about their new diet and ask for recommendations. Having some guidelines to follow and examples and suggestions can make it easier for both of you to understand how they are supposed to be eating and give you a starting point for building their customized heart-healthy diet.
• Research together. Just because your elderly parent needs to eat a diet that is heart-healthy does not mean that they have to give up all of the foods that they love. Work with them to research recipes that have the nutrition that they need and that will support their heart health, but that also maintains the flavors and textures that they enjoy. Just seeing all of the different options that are available can make this process less intimidating for your parent and get them more motivated to comply.
• Help with meal preparation. Your parent might be intimidated by the cooking and meal preparation necessary to eat a truly heart-healthy diet. Starting home care for them can be an exceptional way to encourage them to get used to this meal preparation. Getting into the kitchen with a home care provider can enable your parent to prepare meals and snacks safely and confidently, but can also offer a wide variety of cognitive benefits, including improved memory skills, critical thinking, and mental and emotional health.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering in-home caregivers in Old City, PA, please contact the caring staff at Assisting Hands of Central Philadelphia. 215-274-0900.