This past week, I watched out my parent’s house and the pup while they visited my dad’s side of family in Texas. Picking them up from the airport… it struck me. With all respect Mom & Dad, but they are getting up there… I don’t dare use any other verbiage here! They have aged most gracefully and really do look much younger than their ages, I would be lying if I did not say that I have noticed that age is starting to catch up with them.
While not many of my friends are in my shoes yet… we all are aging. Whether you’re hitting your mid-30s next week (ahem…. like me), or you are closer to Grandpa-status, there are a few things we can start at any time to keep us healthy and happy:
keep your brain active & engaged: While it is necessary from time to time to just veg, keeping your brain alert & active is a must. This is just escalated if your parents are retired, but they may find it hard to fill their days with activities. Parent Giving suggests listening to audiobooks to help ward off boredom (and even depression). Not only is this something that I have recently taken up, but is an easy way to gain new interests or learn more about a passion. More times than not, the discussion of audiobooks comes up in conversations with friends & my parents — I have gotten some great suggestions from both parties!
look for ways to boost physical activity: Now, I’m not suggesting taking your parents to crossfit, but helping them stay active is helpful; we want them strong to handle day-to-day chores, tasks, etc. Easier said than done, but encouraging your parents to take part in exercise that they enjoy will of course, work best. An easy one… if Rufus is in the picture, reminding them that everyone will benefit (and loves) a nice stroll around the block; and even join them if you can! It’s never too late to learn a new hobby that involves fitness — like fishing. Fishing is definitely a low-stress yet healthy activity — it may even get both of your parents out of the house. Of course Dad will be ready to go, and Mom might be more likely to join if she has her own fishing gear.
suggest senior-centric health apps: While I am still tech support for my parents, they love their smartphones. Not only is an iTunes gift card as a stocking stuffer a great idea for their games, there are an abundance of apps to help make their lives easier. Senior Net has a comprehensive list of 16 helpful apps for seniors — five of which are directly related to health. HeartWise Blood Pressure Tracker will allow them to easily record their blood pressure, weight and resting heart rate. There is also Pillboxie app, which helps with prescriptions, over the counter medications, instructions on combining those two and more. See Mom, there’s more than just Candy Crush! 😉
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