A father is every child’s superhero and guardian. They will readily sacrifice their own needs to provide for their children. However, they start needing more support as they age. As their child, you have a crucial role in their well-being. Continue reading to learn more about ensuring your dad’s physical and mental health.
It is your turn to care for your dad in his old age, and here’s how to do so.
Routine Medical Checkups
If you’ve noticed that your dad avoids going to the doctor, he’s not the only one. According to science, 61% of men do not actively get medical checkups or go to the doctor. Furthermore, a recent survey revealed that 33% of American men do not believe routine medical screenings are necessary. Your dad may think he is healthier than other men and might not need daily visits to the doctor.
However, the facts paint a different picture. Men have a higher mortality rate for cancer than women, with 189.5 deaths per 100,000 males. On the other hand, women have higher chances of survival, with 135.7 per 100,000 females. These figures can play a massive role in assessing the potential damage of life-threatening asbestos-related lung cancers that kill 90,000 people yearly. Men are more vulnerable to cancer, but old age contributes to their mortality. Approximately 83% of people 65 or older get a lung cancer diagnosis.
This data signifies how vulnerable your dad is to developing these conditions and how essential it is for routine checkups to provide treatment promptly. Getting a timely diagnosis can also help you build a case to pursue legal action in case of an asbestos-related disease. You can contact cancer support groups, like Lung Cancer Group, to gain access to legal advice and representatives for your case who will pursue compensation for you. They can link you with attorneys who will collect records and find out how your loved one got exposed to asbestos. Not only will they file a case on your behalf, but they will also ensure justice. Even if you’re unsure whether the cancer diagnosis is due to asbestos exposure, they can help you find out.
Heart-wrenching cases like these are why it is so vital to identify potential risk factors for your dad’s health. His immune system will only deteriorate with age, so medical checkups are necessary to provide timely care for underlying health conditions. If your dad is older than 65, bringing him to the doctor once every year would be best. If he’s in his seventies, consider bringing him twice a year. These screenings can help him live a better and healthier quality of life.
Spend quality time
Fathers rarely talk about their worries, preferring to put up a strong front. However, they may need you more than they are willing to show. 62% of dads can feel lonely and neglect their emotional needs while caring for their children. This loneliness becomes more problematic as they age.
To make your father feel more loved:
- Consider allocating a few hours to spend with him.
- Sit down with him and ask him about his life and how he’s feeling.
- Show him that you care about him and value his company by planning fun activities like golfing or fishing.
- Start a project together.
- Make a list of things you’re thankful to him for.
Spending time with your father can drastically improve his mood and keep his loneliness at bay. It would be best if you also considered giving physical affection like hugs because studies suggest it can strengthen their immune system and reduce depression. Even a pat on the back can go a long way.
Encouraging exercise refers to promoting both physical and mental health. Your dad can become used to a sedentary lifestyle, increasing the risk of him developing chronic conditions like obesity or heart disease. In fact, around 33% of adults older than 65 have diabetes.
The CDC recommends at least 150 minutes of weekly exercise to reduce these chances. You can help your dad achieve this requirement by exercising with him and joining him on walks around the neighborhood. You can also introduce hobbies like gardening or swimming to keep him active.
However, mental exercises are also important. Learning a new guitar or getting painting lessons can keep your dad’s brain active and make him feel more productive. Engaging in these stimulating activities can also improve his mood and memory.
Provide essential nutrients
A healthy diet is essential for preventing health concerns and managing your dad’s weight. If your dad is feeling sluggish and low on energy, it might also be because he’s not eating as well as he should. Older adults need a balanced diet with high protein and calcium to prevent the deterioration of their muscles and bones.
To support a healthy diet, you can cook with your dad and encourage him to eat meals rich in fiber, iron, and other essential vitamins to ensure his body is getting proper nutrition. You should also consider discouraging your dad from eating too many sweets if he has sugar to prevent diabetes.
Old age may make it harder for your dad to navigate his surroundings than when he was younger. These mobility issues increase their risks of falling, with one in four older adults sustaining injuries after tumbling. However, it would be best if you didn’t discourage your dad from moving. Instead, consider facilitating his movement to promote a sense of independence.
Start by adjusting your dad’s surroundings to make them safer. Install grips in bathrooms to prevent him from slipping. You can also get a walk-in tub to make it easier for him to shower independently. Next, you can make it easier for your dad to walk by giving him a cane or a scooter if he wants to go longer distances. Finally, remember to request your dad to always travel with someone or keep his phone so he can quickly call for help if necessary.
Dads are always looking out for the needs of their children, yet they rarely ever ask for anything back. However, you can honor your childhood hero by utilizing the strategies in this article. Your father shouldn’t need to ask for help to receive it. Rather, you must give him the same love and support he has given you without him asking for it.