As your parents age, you may have noticed they’re less active than when they were younger. Due to health issues, they may have resorted to watching television all day.
Most health issues have a spiraling effect. It may begin with feeling tired and not having a desire to do any activity. With less activity, there’s weight gain. With weight gain, their knees may begin hurting, resulting in even more inactivity. As they gain weight, they may have other health issues surface such as diabetes.
This spiraling of health issues leads to more time at the doctors and more out of pocket expenses. It can also lead to disability and depression.
To prevent this vicious spiraling, take action sooner than later. If your parents have no desire to attend a yoga class or other fitness classes, find other activities to help them become active. Incorporate fun with each activity to make it more appealing. Be creative. Here are some ideas:
Take a walk when you visit
Encourage your older children to take them to a local mall
Take them to the zoo
Find local attractions to attend such as museums, art exhibits, fairs
Enroll in a healthy cooking class
Find a volunteer project for them to participate
Help them grow a garden
Buy them a fitness band to track their steps and set daily challenges
They may begrudge you at first. But stay positive with encouragement. A positive attitude is contagious.
If they are determined to stay in their home as long as possible, then use that as a way to encourage a healthier lifestyle. If they are depressed, keep prodding. More activity will help them fight depression.
It may take time upfront to keep your aging parents active, but in the long run it’ll save you time and money. Time you would be spending taking them to doctors’ appointments and helping them deal with declining health. Money you would be spending for out of pocket expenses and possibly in-home care. It’s also a way for you to stay active and healthy.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Niv Persaud, CFP®, CDFA™, RICP®, CRPC®, is the Founder of Transition Planning & Guidance, LLC. Life is more than money. It’s about living the lifestyle you want and can afford. For that reason, Niv consults with clients on money, life, and work. Her approach capitalizes on techniques she learned throughout her career, including as a management consultant, executive recruiter, and financial advisor. Her services include developing spending plans, comprehensive financial plans, divorce financial reviews, retirement plans. Niv actively gives back to her community through her volunteer efforts. She believes in living life to the fullest by cherishing friendships, enjoying the beauty of nature and laughing often — even at herself. Her favorite quote is by Erma Bombeck, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say ‘I used everything you gave me.’”