5 Steps to Lengthen Your Parent’s Life

Statistics show that the average American can expect to live to be around 80 years of age. That’s not a bad age to aspire to, but what if your aging parent could add years to their life? A new study shows that by doing just five things, it’s possible for a person to lengthen their life. And, it’s not just an extra year or two. People who follow five steps could add a whole decade.

Researchers say the information gained from the study is important because it shows the impact that diet and exercise can have on overall health. What’s more, the steps are not complicated and can be accomplished by anyone with some determination, work, and a little support from the people around them. Truthfully, the five steps aren’t revolutionary. You’ve likely heard them before, but since research shows that only about 8 percent of Americans stick to all five steps, they bear repeating.

The five steps that could lengthen your parent’s life are:

Don’t Smoke

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that “cigarette smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States.” People who smoke are two to four times more likely to develop heart disease or suffer a stroke than non-smokers. They are also 25 times more likely to get lung cancer. The good news is that when a person quits smoking, their risk of heart disease drops by half in just one year. In 10 years, they have a 50% lower risk of dying from lung cancer.

If your parent smokes, a home care provider can help them to quit by encouraging them, reminding them to use strategies and medicines recommended by the doctor, and distracting them when the urge to smoke strikes.

Eat a Healthy Diet

According to the researchers, a healthy diet includes vegetables, fruit, whole grains, beans, fish, good fats, and poultry. Red meats, sugar, and sodium are eaten in small amounts.

A home care provider can cook healthy meals for your parent that follow all of these suggestions. They can even offer companionship during a meal and clean up afterward.

Exercise Regularly

The researchers said that extending a life required only 30 minutes of exercise per day, such as a brisk walk. There was no need to join gym or buy expensive equipment.

A home care provider can go for walks with your parent, offering them a steadying fall to make sure they don’t fall. Or, they can drive the senior to a group exercise class.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

By following a healthy diet and exercising, your parent will likely lose weight. If you’re unsure of what a healthy weight for them would be, ask their doctor.

A home care provider can assist with weight loss by encouraging your parent and celebrating their successes with them. It can be helpful to track what they eat, when they exercise, and weight lost since seeing results can inspire the senior to keep going.

Drink Alcohol Only in Moderation

According to the Mayo Clinic, drinking in moderation can reduce the risks of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. They say that moderate drinking means no more than two drinks per day for men and one for women.

Sources:  https://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/news/20180430/take-these-5-steps-to-live-10-extra-years#1

https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/health_effects/effects_cig_smoking/index.htm

https://smokefree.gov/quitting-smoking/reasons-quit

If you or an aging loved-one are considering Home Care Services in Chapel Hill TX to help with errands, appointments, light laundry, companionship or any other reason, call the caring staff at Home Aid Caregivers today.  (903) 533-1300