Whether it's labored panting after a short stroll or a sudden pang of ache in the back, fathers endure it all. They often do so without complaint or just brush aside these signs of aging as "random occurrence" accompanied by a nonchalant "Oh, it's nothing.” You can't help but wonder if your father's getting old, and how you can help him transition into geriatric life.
With domestic and professional life getting complicated due to the Coronavirus pandemic, an increase in lifestyle-related disorders and imbalances is imminent in many populations. These concerns only aggravate the issue since most dads prefer not to see the doctor. They may consider a few problems petty or embarrassing. Fathers can be tardy when it comes to acting upon their health and can sometimes be downright obstinate. Don't fret though, here are a few ways to get your dad to see a doctor and take more interest in his physical well-being.
5 Ways to Motivate Health Consciousness
Before getting into the nitty-gritty of helping your dad adopt a healthy lifestyle, it is essential to understand that any endeavor is best achieved when the desire to do it comes from within. Helping your dad get healthier would involve getting him interested in the general idea of health, its implications, and his concerns. Before you get into the details of how he must go about better health, here are a few ways to help motivate your dad:
- Point Out Changes if Any: Try to quote anecdotes and instances of change in your father's health. Be forthcoming and straightforward, and use statements like "I notice you're ill the third time this month" or "The knee seems to have gotten a little worse, isn’t it?" while being polite. This can help direct his attention towards his health and zero in on the matter.
- Understand What Would Motivate Dad: Dads may take up health more seriously when the process involves a dash of competition, enjoyment, and challenge. Keep this in mind when drawing up a health plan for your dad.
- Men Do Not Talk About Health Often: It shouldn't come as a surprise that a study conducted in 2014 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that men are less likely than women to see a doctor. Another survey also revealed that men can use various,” could excuse to avoid the usual check-up, like "being busy", or that they're afraid to find out what's wrong with them, or just being embarrassed by the visit itself. Encouraging your dad to talk about his health openly can go miles in removing this stigma.
- Ask Your Dad About His Concerns: Even if your dad might be in the habit of belittling his problems, try to have a conversation about recent health concerns in a casual manner. This will give you an idea about how interested he is in wanting to address his health overall. Don't be taken aback if your father seems hesitant. However, your attempt at having this conversation will remind your father that he is aging too and that he needs to take care of his aging body.
- Encourage Independent Decision-Making: A program is successful when the motivation to follow up comes from within. Understand that your father is an individual and better health would be more realistic if he makes his own decisions. Be sure to look out for and promote independent decisions your dad makes to improve his health.
5 Ideas to Promote A Healthy Lifestyle
After getting your dad to think more actively about his health and creating awareness, you should find it easier to get him involved in a healthy lifestyle. Here are a few ideas and tricks to help you out:
- Highlight the Benefits: Your father is more likely to actively exercise or take up health checks if he knows the rewards of keeping healthy. Point out small rewards like the change in looks or mood, a better performance at a game he likes to play, or how he could sign up for the upcoming 5K run if he got down to it.
- Make It Interesting: Individuals get more invested in activity if the dullness of it is removed. Try getting dad to play a few games, especially if he was actively involved in sports in his younger days. Plan a camping trip with dad and go on a long hike if possible for the both of you. Enroll dad in a gym to bring in some routine into the process.
- Get His Friends/ Loved Ones Involved: Having a partner or a group of acquaintances doing the same thing makes exercise and activity less complicated than when done alone. Try to get dad's friends involved in case they live nearby and can commit. If not, try to get mom into the picture. After all, she's getting old too!
- De-fang The Doctor and Hospital: Try and bust common myths about doctor visits and hospital procedures to make your dad's check-ups less nerve-wracking. Explain to him the necessity and benefits of regular check-ups, especially after the age of 50. You can also get your dad to complete test packages that bring the laboratory to your doorstep.
- Eating Better by Cooking Together: Promoting a healthy diet by making nutritious meals for dad hits two birds with one stone. It makes for a loving gesture and also enables you to help him get all those essential nutrients into his system. Encourage snacking on fruits and nuts before a meal, which would ideally contain a healthy dose of all essential macro and micronutrients.
The effectiveness of these strategies depends on how you carry them forward and your dedication to them. Irrespective, your concern and involvement are indeed the most significant motivating factors for your dad to get into a better health dimension. Focus on building a healthy relationship, along with a healthy lifestyle for your father.