Incorporating the Traits for Longevity into your Parent’s Lives

By Robert D. Liken CPC, CTS, President

December 29, 2016

Caregiver in Fox Chapel PA

A study performed in Stockholm, Sweden was conducted on 1,810 adults age 75 and older. The study took place in 1987 with a follow-up conducted 18 years later. Half of the participants lived Caregiver-in-Fox-Chapel-PAlonger than 90 years. Those that did demonstrated several common lifestyle traits.
Traits for Longevity

  • Physical activity was the most important trait that correlated with longevity. Activities included swimming, walking and gymnastics.
  • Those with a healthy lifestyle, participated in at least one leisure activity, and had a rich and moderate social network lived 5.4 years longer than those that did not. A healthy lifestyle was defined as eating well and not smoking.

How to Promote these Traits in an Elderly Parent
As the primary family caregiver, you hope to help your parent lead a long and balanced life. Promoting such a lifestyle requires sitting down with your parent and discussing the best way to incorporate these important points into their daily life. It may be best to start slow and gain momentum. If your loved one starts the process feeling overwhelmed, it may be short-lived. Slow and steady wins the race.

  • Physical Activity. Perhaps your parent would like to include both swimming and walking in their exercise routines. If swimming laps has never been easy for them, taking a class in water aerobics is both fun, good for their joints, and gets them moving. If they love nature and walking, taking them out on excursions once a week to the local park or nature forest preserve gets them out into the woods as well as kicking up their heart rate.
  • Leisure Activity. The top activities enjoyed by seniors include reading, enjoying a relaxing meal with friends and family, shopping, and home and garden projects. Leisure is relaxing in a constructive way which is different for just about every person upon the planet. Whatever fills their heart with wonder is the best activity to include whether it is stargazing, spending time in the local library, or flea market shopping.
  • Social Network. An aging person’s social network can decline with each passing year. Retirement, changing family structures, and friends moving in with family members or care facilities all account for the declining number of people in their lives. Ensure an influx of new friends by taking them to your senior community center that offers classes as well as shared meals and social outings. Support groups are another important social network that gathers those with a common cause together. These groups range from emotional support groups to gatherings based on chronic illnesses such as diabetes or dementia.

If you or an aging loved one are considering caregiver services in Fox Chapel, PA, please contact the friendly staff at Liken Home Care.  Call (412) 693-6820 or (855) 856-0551