Your role as a caregiver is an important one, and it makes a huge difference in the life of the person you’re caring for. You probably already know how important it is for you take care of yourself by eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly and spending time with friends. By tending to your needs, you’re not just turning yourself into a healthy, happy, productive caregiver, but also you’re teaching your loved one the importance of healthy habits. This can really make a difference during a time when your senior loved one may be losing interest in caring for themselves.

Let’s take a look at a few ways that you can encourage healthy habits in your parent.

Promote Self Sufficiency

It’s natural to want to help your loved one, especially as you see things become more challenging for them. But make sure that you don’t do so much that you make them dependent on you. Self sufficiency is a good thing, and you want your parent to hold onto it for as long as possible. Give your loved one tasks that are within their scope of ability.

Establish a Rewarding Schedule

It’s always helpful for seniors to have a clear schedule for their day. Setting one up for your parent ensures that they are spending time on the right things (cooking, exercise, reading, etc.) and alleviating the boredom that is often associated with senior isolation.

Participate in Things Together

If all you do is take care of your loved one, you’ll never have time to enjoy your relationship. Enlist the help of senior home care to ease the burden of caring for your parent, and spend some of your time together enjoying something constructive such as going for a walk, taking a painting class or joining a book club. These activities will provide your parent with social interaction and personal enjoyment while strengthening your relationship.

Be a Good Role Model

If you want your parent to eat healthy, you need to eat healthy too. If you want them to get some exercise each day, so should you. Practice what you preach. Everything you do influences your loved one, so be a good role model and look for ways to improve your lifestyle. You’ll feel better about the changes you’re making, and you can feel good that you’re also boosting your loved one’s health and well being.

You have an important job, but rest assured that you are not alone in your efforts. Be sure to take time out for yourself. Caring for your needs is one of the most effective ways that you can cultivate healthy habits in your loved one.