7 Least Healthy Habits Among Seniors

By , 9:00 am on

A bad decision could turn into a chronic habit and damage a senior’s quality of life. Family caregivers should monitor their aging loved ones’ bad choices and develop positive management strategies. Below are some of the unhealthiest habits many older adults need to break.

1. Eating Heavily at Night

Eating large portions of food or items with high amounts of fiber and protein at night could prevent your loved one from getting enough rest. The body may be unable to remove dangerous toxins, especially harmful chemicals in the brain, which could increase the risk of behavioral problems, memory issues, and poor communication skills.

2. Avoiding Walking Opportunities

Seniors need to stretch their muscles and work out their joints as often as possible. However, many pass up everyday opportunities to move their bodies. For instance, seniors usually take the elevator instead of the stairs or park right in front of a store instead of walking a few more steps. Encourage your loved one to take advantage of as many walking opportunities as possible.

If you usually help your loved one exercise but need a break now and then, consider having a professional caregiver take over for you. Sacramento respite care professionals can assist seniors with a wide array of daily tasks, offering family caregivers the chance to focus on other personal responsibilities or take a break to prevent burnout. Whether it’s for a few hours a day or a few days a week, respite care is the perfect solution for family caregivers who are feeling overwhelmed.

3. Lacking Fruits and Vegetables in the Diet

One of the unhealthiest habits among older adults is not eating enough foods that contain vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, water, and nutrients. By promoting fruits and vegetables in your loved one’s diet, you could prevent him or her from eating sugary foods and other unhealthy options. Consuming more fruits and vegetables can lower the risk of developing diabetes, obesity, heart disease, or dementia.

A professional caregiver with training in nutrition and healthy habits can be a wonderful source of information and encouragement as your loved one adopts new healthy habits. Maintaining a high quality of life can be challenging for some seniors, but professional caregivers can help them obtain this goal. Families can trust Sacramento at-home care experts to help their elderly loved ones focus on lifestyle choices that increase the chances of living a longer and healthier life.

4. Spending Too Much Time on the Computer

Using technology can boost brain activity, but staring for too long at a computer screen could also lead to vision problems and a lack of focus. Monitor the amount of time your parent spends on computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Instead, your loved one should get out as much as possible and enjoy outdoor activities that enhance mental and physical health.

5. Biting Fingernails

Anxiety and chronic stress can lead to unhealthy habits such as nail-biting, but stress management could prevent this poor choice. If you notice your loved one biting his or her nails, find a positive way to distract him or her, such as dancing, doing arts and crafts, going for a walk, or engaging in a meaningful conversation. Your loved one may adopt these healthy habits going forward, lowering the odds of nail-biting.

6. Skipping Doctor Appointments

Seniors must visit the doctor frequently for testing that could prevent age-related conditions. Prevent your loved one from skipping doctor appointments by scheduling the visits on your days off or ensuring he or she has reliable transportation. You should also make sure your loved one chooses a primary care physician who is respectful, well trained, and affordable.

7. Setting Unrealistic Goals

The main reason older adults give up on diets and exercising is that they set unrealistic goals. This is a bad habit that prevents your loved one from giving his or her best and continuing when he or she doesn’t reach a goal. Encourage your loved one to celebrate each accomplishment, no matter how small. 

A professional caregiver can provide additional support for your efforts to help your aging loved one adopt a healthier lifestyle. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of homecare services. You can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. To create a customized home care plan for your loved one, call Home Care Assistance at 916.706.0169 today.