Of all the resolutions we make to start the new year, more than half involve becoming healthier: losing weight, eating better, adhering to specific diet, or quitting [insert bad habit here]. And while much is made of how few people achieve their goals, what of those who get it right? The people who drop a dress size, adopt a healthy new routine, eliminate a specific toxic behavior? What constitutes the difference between those who succeed and those who do not? The answer lies not in the resolutions we make, but in how we go about realizing life changes that determines success.
When caring for aging parents or loved ones, a related question might be how to help them adopt new habits when you’re not always there to observe their behavior and offer encouragement—or if they resist making the change. How do we help a loved one overcome a habit that’s bad for their budget, their health, or their general well-being?
- getting enough sleep
- eating healthfully
- managing chronic health issues
- appropriate daily exercise
When helping an elderly adult make positive life changes, consider the following suggestions which experts advise for creating lasting and effective resolutions for the upcoming year:
- Focus on one habit change, and make it realistic.
- Understand the “Golden Rule of Habit Change,” which states that every habit has three components:
- The cue (or a trigger for an automatic behavior to start),
- A routine (the behavior itself), and
- A reward (which is how our brain learns to remember this pattern for the future).
- Learn to recognize triggers.
- Replace an old habit with a new one, or associate a specific trigger with a different behavior.
- Take small realistic steps. Make them manageable and duplicate them every day.
- Celebrate accomplishments.
Whether the goal is to help a parent manage diabetes or to be active on a daily basis, helping another through these steps may not be easy, but the outcome—a healthier lifestyle and potentially longer and more productive life—is worth the effort.
When it’s not possible to spend as much time as you’d like with an aging loved one, David York Agency provides qualified and well-trained healthcare professionals when you need them. Our Certified Home Health Aides (HHA), Certified Personal Health Care Aides (PCA), Registered Nurses (RN), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN), are available full- or part-time, live-in or -out, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Licensed by the New York State Department of Health, we believe your loved one deserves the very best care. Call for a free consultation today, at 718-376-7755 or visit our website www.davidyorkagency.com, like us on Facebook or follow us on LinkedIn, google+ or Twitter.