No matter your dad’s age, it’s important to keep him young in heart, mind, and body.
— Dr. David Samadi
NEW YORK CITY, NY, UNITED STATES, June 19, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — It’s the annual Father’s Day weekend celebrating dads of all ages. But, Dr. David Samadi, author of The Ultimate MANual, says why not celebrate Dad daily by ensuring he’s aging as healthfully as possible? Our dads take care of us growing up; therefore, it makes sense to take care of him as he ages. So, instead of another necktie or fishing pole, give him a gift that matters – the gift of healthy aging. Keep him young in heart, mind, and body no matter your dad’s age.
Here are ideas to help nudge dad in the right direction of staying healthy for years to come:
• Make sure dad has annual doctor checkups
Men tend to neglect their health. Life gets busy, and their overall well-being gets put on the backburner. Some men have not seen a doctor for years – until a major health concern happens. They ignore follow-up visits and may refuse to see specialists their doctor recommends. But skipping annual health visits misses the opportunity to “catch” a health concern early when it’s more treatable.
As your dad’s child, pay attention to his health. Does he act and look healthy? Is he showing less energy, losing interest in activities he enjoys, complaining of aches and pains, or being more forgetful than usual? Ask him about the last time he visited a doctor, and ask him what the doctor said. Show interest in his health and well-being. Tell him you care about how he feels physically and mentally. Make getting and staying healthy easy for him. Ask him to go on a walk with you, have him over for a healthy dinner, go with him to his doctor appointments, or organize his medication. Each small gesture makes a huge difference long-term.
• Look for signs of depression in dad
Men are more likely to suffer in silence. It’s the suffering in silence that can get men in trouble. When men remain tight-lipped about what’s bothering them, signs of depression likely go unnoticed. Depression in men can look different from depression in women. Here are signs to pay attention to:
• Anger, irritability, or aggressiveness
• Feeling anxious, restless, or “on edge.”
• Loss of interest in work, family, or once-pleasurable activities
• Problems concentrating or remembering details
• Overeating or not wanting to eat at all
• Feeling sad, “empty,” flat, or hopeless
• Inability to meet work, family, or other important responsibilities
• Engaging in high-risk behavior
• A need for alcohol or drugs
• Withdrawing from family and friends or becoming isolated
• Any changes in sleep patterns
Any signs of depression should be evaluated by a qualified mental health professional.
• Encourage dad to be physically active
How physically active is your dad? Does he have difficulty walking, standing, or getting out of breath quickly? Has he been inactive for a while, and why? With his doctor’s approval, becoming physically active is a cornerstone of living a long and healthy life. Exercise promotes a strong heart, leaner body, increased energy, reduced blood pressure, improved mood and attitude, keeps muscles from tightening up, and reduces age-related diseases. Explore finding activities he enjoys. Depending on his level of physicality, consider hiking, swimming, playing golf, basketball, jogging, bicycling, or playing pickleball. Get him up and moving consistently throughout the week for the best results.
• Keep dad steady on his feet
Maintaining mobility and stability with aging is essential. But, if balance and strength decline, the risk of falls increases. Falling can result in broken bones or a skull fracture. In fact, for adults aged 65 and older, a leading cause of injury and death is from falling. Also, men have a higher risk of falling – and a greater risk of dying from a fall – than women.
The goal is to keep dad steady on his feet as he ages. Fortunately, there are excellent balance exercises you and dad can do together – the earlier you start, the better! Also, do a walk-thru of his home, and look for potential fall hazards such as unsecured bathroom rugs or no hand railing on a staircase.
• Help dad manage his medications
Around 40% of all prescription medications are used by people aged 65 and older. Older adults have at least one chronic health condition and take multiple medications, increasing the risk of a serious medication mishap. Help dad manage his medications with a pill organizer. Know his medication list, understand what the drug is for, how it works, and its side effects.
• Make sure dad is eating healthy – most of the time
As dad ages, making every bite count is a priority. A balance of treats with plenty of health-promoting foods is best. Here are ideas for helping dad obtain the nutrition he needs:
• Plan for protein: Protein slows muscle loss and weakness with aging. Stock his fridge or cupboards with high-protein foods like Greek yogurt, milk, eggs, canned tuna or salmon, peanut butter, nuts, cheese, or cheese sticks. Hard-boil a batch of eggs on a weekend and refrigerate for an easy snack or to go with a meal.
• Have fruits and vegetables readily available: Plant-based foods are excellent sources of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Have fresh, frozen, or canned fruits and vegetables on hand, and encourage him to have a fruit and vegetable at each meal.
• Keep whole grains on hand: Whole grain foods are perfect for heart health and help relieve constipation. Look for whole-grain crackers, cereals, and bread. Keep on hand microwavable brown rice and oatmeal for quick meals.
• Encourage water: Older men may forget to drink water throughout the day but require at least 8 cups daily. Lack of sufficient fluid intake can result in constipation and dehydration. Besides water, use other water sources such as coffee, unsweetened tea, fruit juice, sports drinks, and milk. Set a lightweight water pitcher near his chair, reminding him to drink more water.