Skip to content

    50+: Live Better, Longer

    Select An Article

    Caring for Parents, Keeping Them Healthy

    Font Size

    Sound Body, Sound Mind

    When caring for an older adult, it's important not to overlook routine care -- stuff that seems obvious but that may not be on your radar. Here is a rundown of what to keep in mind.

    Everyone needs regular checkups. But some older adults (and young ones, too) reason that since they just saw the doctor last month about that sinus problem, they don't need to go again. A visit to the doctor for a specific problem, however, doesn't take the place of a complete checkup.

    Make sure your parent is eating a balanced diet. Accompany him or her to the market to guide shopping choices, teach how to read labels, and discuss the importance of all the food groups, vitamins, fiber, and calcium.

    ID jewelry with pertinent medical alert and contact information should be worn by all older adults. There is a huge variety of bracelets, pendants, and even watchbands available. One company that sells them is American Medical Identifications.

    Know your mother's baseline -- what's "normal" for her. Some older adults have a lower normal body temperature than 98.6 degrees Farenheit, and others have had chronic problems throughout their lives. Be familiar with Mom's "default setting," and be aware of changes. Know that baselines change as a person ages. If, for instance, she goes through surgery, chances are she will come out of it with a new baseline.

    Know your loved one's complete medical history and keep a record of it to be taken to doctor's appointments and checked often. Just as important is to know your own medical history, in case genetic issues arise or transplants or transfusions become necessary.

    Unless told otherwise by your doctor, you should each be drinking eight glasses of water a day. Did you know that dehydration is a common cause of many disorders in older adults, including urinary tract infections and circulation problems? Make sure liquids are available all day long. How about an attractive thermos for the bedside or a water cooler in the living room and on the patio? Get one on casters so it can be moved from room to room.

    1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    Eating for a longer, healthier life.
    woman biking
    How to stay vital in your 50s and beyond.
    womans finger tied with string
    Learn how we remember, and why we forget.
    smiling after car mishap
    9 things no one tells you about getting older.
    fast healthy snack ideas
    how healthy is your mouth
    dog on couch
    doctor holding syringe
    champagne toast
    Two women wearing white leotards back to back
    Man feeding woman
    two senior women laughing