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Tips to Help Seniors Break Bad Habits

Bad habits are hard to break at any age, but they can be particularly challenging for seniors to alter. While it’s never too late to change those bad habits, getting your aging loved ones to cooperate can be an uphill battle. Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to help the aging loved ones in your life turn over a new leaf and start adopting better habits.

  • Explain the Benefits – It’s easy to fall into bad habits, and a positive attitude will help make the corrections easier. However, seniors aren’t going to give up a bad habit they love unless there’s something better waiting for them. Take time to look at the benefits associated with making a change, and discuss this information with your loved one. If you make an effort to have a discussion rather than a lecture, then the changes may be better received.
  • Embrace the Change Yourself – Your goal is to help your father quit smoking but you still light one up when you get stressed. Just as parents must lead by example, it’s also easier if caregivers do the same. Don’t just tell your loved one that it’s time to swap potato chips for carrot sticks, join them in the lifestyle change! By doing so, you can make it easier for them to follow through with the positive change. Can’t be with your aging loved one at all times? Learn how a part-time caregiver in Columbus can help fill in the gaps and promote total health for your aging loved one.
  • Have a Replacement Ready – It’s hard to give up a bad habit without having a replacement. If you want your mom to stop eating when she’s bored, then give her word games or puzzles to work on to exercise her mind, instead. If your father is starting to lose his temper more quickly, encourage him to get him out of the house and go for a walk to work off some of the frustrations. Having another activity ready to go can help your loved one shift gears and change the bad habit.

Changing bad habits is a tough call at any age, and it doesn’t get any easier as you grow older. However, it’s just as important for the elderly to embrace healthier lifestyles as it is for the young. And with New Years just around the corner, this is a great time to have a conversation with your aging loved one about the benefits of making the change, and resolving to lead by example.

For more senior health and wellness tips or to learn how home care enhances quality of life for seniors, visit our website at www.homecareincolumbus.com or contact a Care Manager directly at 614-481-8888. Our trained and professional caregivers may be just the thing your aging loved one needs to start 2014 off on the right foot!