How to help your parents live an active lifestyle in their golden age?
Your parents have been with you through it all. They were there to teach you how to ride a bike, to help you get ready for prom, to send you to college, and now it’s your turn to help them. You love your parents, and you want them to live a healthy life even as they age.
Because you want what’s best for them, you need to take a leading role in helping your parents live an active lifestyle in their golden years. Retirement can be a time of excitement and fun, but sometimes your parents might need a little bit of help along the way. Here’s how to help you parents be healthier, more active, and stay happy as they approach their “old” age.
1. Start with Medicare
The first thing you need to do is help your parents find healthcare coverage they can count on. For those 65 years of age and older, Medicare is a federally-funded program that gives seniors access to the care they need at a price they can afford. However, this process can be tricky, so be sure to help your parents through this process to ensure they’re getting the best value.
Medicare enrollment is expected to reach 64 million people by 2020 as our aging population continues to grow. A large number of these seniors opt for a program known as Medicare Advantage, or Medicare Part C. You can think of Medicare Advantage as the all-in-one solution to healthcare, since it includes Medicare Parts A, B, and D all along with flexible pricing. To learn more about Medicare Advantage, visit HealthMarkets.
2. Create a Physical Fitness Plan
Do your parents love the great outdoors? Do they prefer to stay inside? No matter their preferences, there’s a physical fitness plan that’s right for them. While your parents might not be as active as they used to be, that doesn’t mean they can’t still get their blood pumping.
The more active your parents remain, the more resistant they’ll be to common diseases and illnesses that plague the aging. This can be a fun thing you all do together as a family, so give one of these activities a try.
- Yoga – Because yoga is easy on the joints and doesn’t involve excessive cardio, it’s a great choice for those in their retirement years. It’s also ideal for those who are new to physical activity.
- Low-Impact Sports – Taking your parent to golf, dance, or do another low-impact sport is a great way to meet others and get moving.
- Water Aerobics – Because there’s a lot of movement, water aerobics are a great way to burn calories without the joint pain of other sports.
3. Enjoy Outdoor Activities
Without the structure of a job to go to on a daily basis, many seniors feel a bit stir crazy. It’s easy to become sedentary when your days are mostly spent inside. It’s time to take your parents outside by enjoying outdoor activities together.
No matter the season or what you enjoy, spending time in nature is a great natural energy booster and way to stay active. In fact, spending time outside is an effective way to fight depression in seniors. While outside, you can enjoy walking, hiking, gardening, or even just outdoor travel. These things are inexpensive and easy to make a regular activity.
4. Travel Together
Finally, one of the easiest ways to encourage your parents to lead an active lifestyle is to travel together. Retirement is the perfect time to see the world and explore new places. While your parents might not be able to walk the Great Wall of China or go hiking in Peru, they can still travel in a way that’s rewarding and healthy.
Even if you don’t have the budget to go far, just taking the time to go somewhere new like a nearby National Park or a different city will go a long way. It’s just about spending time with your loved one and doing something fun together.
Helping Your Parents Age with Grace
It’s possible to revel in the excitement of your golden years. While we often think of retirement as a time to slow things down, who said it can’t also be a time to learn new things, gain new skills, and stay active? You can help your parents stay healthy and active in their retirement with these tips above.
While you should always talk to their doctor before starting a new routine, these are all easy, affordable ways to keep your parents feeling their best. Your parents abilities might be changing, but that doesn’t mean your relationship has to change too.
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