5 Tips to keep your elderly parents well at home

Welcome to Senior Snippets: the monthly advisory column with older members of our community in mind, brought to you by Alexandra Sacker, owner of Home Instead in Enfield.

We’ve all heard the saying, ‘Prevention is better than cure’. As experts in elderly care, we understand the importance of keeping loved ones safe and well in their own homes.

We are often called in when a family is at a crisis point due to a family member’s health deteriorating. Sometimes a health issue is unavoidable, but in many cases, prevention and/or early intervention can help avoid a difficult situation.

It’s important not to view any deterioration in someone’s general health as simply ‘getting old’. Inactivity, missed GP appointments, signs of depression, problems with meal preparation, a poor appetite or weight loss, as well as slips, trips, and falls are all warning signs that require attention.

Two men in a kitchen, one washing dishes while the other speaks to him, both smiling and engaged in conversation. - Home Instead

Doctors orders

It’s important to go to the doctor regularly as well as keep up with other check-ups such as hearing and eyesight. We advise maintaining a calendar so they don’t miss regular and annual appointments. Planning ahead to ensure they are able to get to the appointments is also advisable. Taking the right medication at the right time can be confusing – particularly if your family member is living with dementia. It’s important to have a system that ensures they are kept up to date with medication.

Keep physically and mentally active

Encourage activity! With warmer weather now upon us, encourage simple exercise such as short walks. An activity such as gardening, which is great for both the body and soul, can help to maintain muscle and flexibility as well as release stress.

Maintain a healthy diet

Encourage a balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables – the latest advice is to ‘eat the colours of the rainbow’ which is a fun way of keeping on track. Choose whole grain options when it comes to bread, include oily fish in your diet each week and cut down on sugary snacks.

A woman shows an elderly man something on a tablet at a table with coffee cups in a cozy, well-lit room. - Home Instead

Keep hydrated

This is possibly one of the easiest ways to maintain wellbeing. Did you know that water makes up 60-75% of our body weight? It’s really important to keep hydrated, as it is involved in many important functions, including regulating body temperature and helping our brains function, as well as helping to prevent constipation. Experts recommend around 1.2 litres, which is 6-8 glasses.


Research shows that loneliness and social isolation are harmful to our health. We all know how good it is to talk and spend time with like-minded individuals. Encourage your loved one to take part in local activities such as craft clubs, having a cuppa with a neighbour or joining one of the many community-run social groups. Knowing what to look out for can really help you avoid health issues. Our team is on hand to offer help and advice, including signposting to local organisations and Groups.

Two people sitting at a table, smiling and talking, with coffee cups and a smart speaker in front of them. - Home Instead

We’d love to hear from you if you would like to make a suggestion for a future topic. 

Please write to me at: [email protected]

Or by post to Home Instead Enfield, Unit 22, 26-28 Queensway, Ponders End, Enfield EN3 4SA

Or call me on: 020 3641 8851