The Importance of Knowing Family Health History
Being a family caregiver for your aging loved one means ensuring that they are getting all of the care, support, and assistance that they need at all times to live the highest quality of life possible as they age in place. This arrangement is also a way to improve your own health, well-being, and future. One way is by giving you a chance to discuss your family health history with your senior. This information can be critical for you in caring for them, but also in your own life as you move forward.
Some of the reasons why knowing your family health history is important for you, your elderly loved one, and your children include:
- Knowing about inherited conditions. Many health concerns have a genetic component, meaning that it is passed from parent to child. These can be very serious conditions and you cannot always use the presence of that condition in your parent or grandparent as an indicator of risk. Some people are carriers, meaning that they have the ability to pass the disease along, but that they will not develop it themselves. Knowing about these conditions enables you to be aware of the predisposition so that your parent and you can be tested for the possibility. This prepares you for the possibility of the condition so that you can make decisions regarding all of your health.
- Assessing risk. There are some conditions that are not actually passed down through the generations, but that do have a family risk factor. This means that there is no gene that can cause the condition that is passed down, but that if someone in the family has the condition, others in the family are more likely to have it. Knowing about the health history of other members of the family allows you to assess the risk for your parent as well as for you so that you can be aware of these potential conditions and take the proper steps to reduce the risk and protect your health.
- Making important health decisions. Some of the most important health decisions that your parent can make are the proactive ones such as tests and screenings that show that they may be dealing with certain health conditions and issues. Knowing family health history allows your parent to keep their doctor informed so that they can work together to decide what screenings and tests they should undergo so that they can learn the most about their health now and into the future.
If you have been looking for ways to boost your parent’s quality of life and enhance their health and wellness throughout their later years, now may be the ideal time for you to consider starting home care for them. Having a care provider in the home with your senior can be a fantastic way to support your care efforts and encourage your loved one to continue with the healthy lifestyle choices even when you are not in the home with them. This can include a wide range of highly personalized services tailored specifically to what your parent needs to keep them safe and healthy, as well as to promote greater wellness. Safe and reliable transportation enables them to be more active and engaged without always having to rely on you. Researching healthy recipes stimulates their mind and helps them to find healthy options that fit in with their dietary restrictions as well as their personal preferences. Encouraging them to stay active and planning activities with them can keep their body stronger and healthier. If you are a multigenerational caregiver, having the support of this care provider can also help you to spend time with the entire family by enabling you to care for your children while feeling confident that your parent is getting the care that they need as well.