In an era where the incidences of chronic, hereditary and lifestyle diseases are rising, the concept of healthcare management has begun to gain great traction. More and more people have started finding ways to connect with a variety of medical institutions so that the early onset of illnesses can be diagnosed and quick curative steps can be taken.
However, when it comes to the elderly, the dimensions of healthcare management assume different proportions. Senior citizens require constant, targeted and time-bound healthcare. They need to be frequently examined for the slightest of symptoms because with advancing age, even small infections like cold and flu, can lead to grave medical complications.
In such a scenario, elderly care becomes all the more difficult. This is especially true for people who are currently living abroad. For ensuring competent parental healthcare, they either need to hire home care nursing services or pay an exorbitant amount to attendants who might not always cater to the specific needs of the aged.
If you too have parents in India and are wondering how you can improve their healthcare management, here are 10 simple things which can enable you to keep them safe, happy and healthy -
Physical activity of any kind instantly boosts your immune system. The more you move about, the better becomes your body's ability to grapple with infections, inflammations and stress. This is precisely why helping your parents lead an active lifestyle holds great importance. You don't need to push them into doing heavy exercise. Merely cycling, walking or performing yoga would be sufficient to enrich and enhance their health.
Eating a healthy and nutritious diet is the key to staying fit. Make sure that the diet charts of your parents in India include green leafy vegetables, fruits, dairy products and lean meats. A good diet wouldn't just protect them against different types of harmful diseases but it would also safeguard their cells against early damage. Get your parents to limit their intake of foods that are rich in sugar, starch or fat - especially if they are diabetic.
As the body begins to age, it does not always produce the right amount of nutrients. This causes deficiencies that can further lead to health-related complications. In order to avoid such issues, arrange for a pharmacy delivery of supplements. These might include vitamins, iron, calcium or magnesium - depending on what the doctor has prescribed. Ensure that these prescribed supplements are consumed, as per instructions.
Maintaining proper hygiene is the best way to prevent your parents from contracting any disease. Harmful bacteria and viruses, with their ability to survive externally for over 24 hours, can often be the vectors which carry serious illnesses. Hire a home care agency to make sure that your parents do not interact with contaminated surfaces. Have them use disinfectants, sanitizers and other similar equipment to ensure complete cleanliness.
An average human body needs 6 to 7 hours of sleep. But, once you cross the threshold of 65, you require a rest period of about 8 hours. Sleeping well is actually your body's way of repairing itself. It doesn't just rejuvenate your nervous system, but it also triggers timely hormonal releases. If your parents are having trouble sleeping, it would be wiser to have a doctor on call. Insomnia must be treated with due urgency.
Vaccinations are not just meant for children below 5. Once your parents are 65 or older, vaccinations should become a part and parcel of their annual medication schedule too. This is because with age, the susceptibility to illnesses like pneumonia, flu, meningitis and whopping cough greatly increases. Consult a doctor about the different kinds of vaccinations available. If you are living abroad, seek home care assistance to do this on your behalf.
Make it a point to take your parents in India for a half-yearly or an annual physical examination. A full body checkup helps diagnose early disease symptoms and thereby, proves to be a potent weapon against complete prevention. Chronic diseases like diabetes and high blood pressure, for example, can go entirely undetected if their symptoms are not recognized during a comprehensive body examination.
Keep a keen eye on the medications that your parents are taking. Don't just rely on monthly pharmacy delivery. Instead, check each constituent of these medicines and find out how your parents are responding to their intake. Some drugs have the potential to cause allergic reactions, appetite loss or drowsiness. Keep a look out for these signs and confer with a physician about their onset. Employ home care services for this purpose, if need be.
One of the best ways to ensure good parental healthcare is by helping them lead an active social life. If you are an expat, make sure that you keep all lines of communication with your parents in India open. Call them often and have them speak to their grandchildren, if any. Get them to visit their friends, take them to public places and have them expand their social network. Such socialization can be an excellent antidote for your parents' ailments.
10. Mental Health
It has been observed that with age, issues of depression, dementia and memory loss often crop up. This is why focusing on the mental health of your parents is as important as focusing on their physical health. Solve crossword puzzles with them, stimulate their hobbies and help them engage with new technology. These simple, everyday solutions have the capability to provide adequate exercise to your parents' minds while keeping them mentally agile.
Taking a proactive stand against critical or chronic illnesses is the very foundation on which the idea of healthcare management rests. As a child, it is your primary responsibility to utilize this outlook and help your aging parents fight their maladies.
The aforementioned approach can easily help you do this. In fact, it can work more wonders if you are assisted by a competent home care agency. With their emergency services for the elderly and routine care-giving solutions, they can ensure that your parents in India are properly taken care of.
After all, the autumn of your parents' life needs to be healthy, happy and stress-free. That is the least they deserve!