Have you been walking at your local park and seen a group of elderly people walking together? If so, you aren’t alone!

In the last few years, more older people are investing in their self-care, which can include walks, meeting up for coffee and even gardening groups. This is great, as these activities have been shown to reduce or slow mental decline that can come with Alzheimer’s, as well as helping your loved one to improve both their mental and physical health.

Getting them to engage in self-care, however, can feel as tough as trying to convince a goat to move! So, here are some tips to help them improve their self-care.

5 Ways to Encourage Self-Care in The Elderly

Encourage Doctors Appointments

Even if your loved one is in tip-top health, or if they are living in a Signature Care Home in Highgate with nurses on site, you still need to encourage them to see their doctor regularly. This will ensure that any issues, such as weight, diabetes risk, and heart problems, are detected early and can be monitored and managed. Having a good grip on physical health is the best base to work from, so encourage them to attend doctor, dental, and optical appointments regularly. Even if they don’t have any natural teeth, they still need to see a dentist!

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Exercise (with others if possible!)

Encouraging elderly relatives to exercise can be tough, especially if they have arthritis or another uncomfortable joint disorder. So, for many young relatives, it can be worth looking into something simple to start with, such as home exercises for older people or even swimming groups. Many leisure centres have set periods in their week for elderly people to use the facilities. You can encourage this by helping them to choose a swimming costume or, if they have friends in the same age group, by encouraging both (or a group) of them to attend.

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Sleep Schedule

Older people feel tired a lot. While it can seem harmless for them to be napping during the day, this can cause havoc on their sleep schedule at night. So, try to encourage them to stay active during the day, so that they can get the 7-9 hours of sleep needed at night. This will then become routine and, as you know, having a proper sleep schedule is one of the best bases for self-care too.

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OK, it needs to be said that a lot of older people may struggle with nutrition. When they were growing up, it wasn’t such a concern and, if they have few natural teeth, they may be less than eager to eat an apple. However, there are many senior-friendly meals that they can look into and, if they are interested in cooking, you could even gift them vouchers for a local cooking class, to help them learn how to cook healthy meals.

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Encourage Independence

Remember, at the end of the day, your older relative is an adult and can choose to go along with your recommendations, or even change them to better suit themselves, even if it may not be the ideal solution! You should seek to encourage independence where you can and to help out where you can, rather than taking over completely. 

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