6 Clinicians Share Advice They Would Give Their Own Parents
Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late!
Dr. Whitlock-Morales says that she would tell her mother not to wait until she’s terribly ill to seek medical help.
“Sometimes, a person can be asymptomatic,” she said. “Which means they are not showing any symptoms. Or they can have a condition that is better treated earlier rather than later.” Dr. Whitlock-Morales adds that it’s always better to get treatment for such conditions as soon as possible instead of waiting. She feels that waiting may allow a condition time to progress into something worse – something untreatable. It’s something she wouldn’t want for her mother or for anyone else!
A Colonoscopy Can Be Your Friend!
Dr. Whitlock-Morales urges her father to get a colonoscopy.
"It's something I would recommend to anyone over the age of 45," she said. It's a medical fact that most people who get colon cancer are over 50, and Dr. Whitlock-Morales thinks it's always a good idea to stay ahead of this as doctors can spot and remove polyps during the exam. Polyps are little growths on the colon's lining that can later become cancerous, leading, of course, to colon cancer.
"Ignorance is never bliss when it comes to your health," Dr. Whitlock-Morales said. "So, seek help NOW before it's too late."
Dr. Massey would like his mother to start walking, which he feels is an excellent way to clear the mind and lower one’s risk of developing conditions like heart disease or stroke.
“It’s GREAT for the body and the soul,” he said. “Best of all, you can do it with friends!”
Dr. Massey recommends at least thirty minutes a day on your favorite trail to avoid missing out on these great benefits. He would like to see his mother or anyone in the New Braunfels area join him at Fischer Park at 9 am on the 3rd Saturday of the month for a lovely walk with a doctor and community friends.
See more about it here: New Braunfels, Texas (walkwithadoc.org)
Expect the Unexpected!
Preventative care is something Dr. Cockerill advises her mother to look into.
“Preventing a condition is always better than having to treat it,” she said. It’s something she learned when she recently had her fallopian tubes removed to decrease her risk of ovarian cancer by 50%.
“While 50% isn’t a complete fail-safe, it still leaves me better off after than before,” she said. “It’s a procedure I would’ve liked my mother to have.”
Watch What You Eat!
Dr. Shafiei wants her mother to incorporate a healthy diet.
“Typical as it may sound, a healthy diet does far more for you than most people might think,” she said. And she’s right. From extending life expectancy to boosting immunity to preventing disease and improving digestion, eating better means not only looking better but feeling better as well. And who wouldn’t want to look and feel better as they get older?
Healthy Diet, Healthy Diet, Healthy Diet!
"One thing I would reiterate to my father until it stuck, if I could, is a healthy diet," says Dr. Shafiei. She says she would like to see him eating not just better but smarter. Instead of a TV dinner, she recommends some salmon with avocado salsa. Even doing things such as replacing soda with water, she feels, is the smarter choice.
"I think in time, he would come to see he'd feel a lot better with a healthier diet and realize you really are what you eat," she said.
Add More, Feel More!
A piece of health advice Dr. Hernandez has for her mother would be to add things to her daily routine for more energy.
"Not necessarily an energy bar or energy drink," she said, "but something more along the lines of meditation or exercise." Dr. Hernandez says a few minutes of meditation or 10-20 minutes of daily exercise would be good for her.
"Not just for her but for everybody else, really," she said. "Going through your day with low energy is no way to live. I would prefer to see her tackle each day, ready to hit the ground running!"
Relax a little!
Dr. Hernandez wants her father to learn to relax. She thinks that taking some time off once in a while is something that would greatly benefit him.
“Sometimes, I feel as though he may overwork himself,” she said, “what with work and everything else. He doesn’t really take the time to consider the amount of strain it can put on his body or his mental health.”
Dr. Hernandez says having a few weeks or even a few days to recuperate could be good for him. She feels it’s something that would improve both his mood and his health in the long run.
“It would also give us more opportunities to spend some time together!” she added.
Health is Wealth!
Dr. Emmons wants her mother to look after herself.
“She’s always so busy taking care of us,” she said. “I would like to see her do it for herself for once.” Dr. Emmons recommends getting the right amount of sleep and hydration. Sleep, she says, can help with your weight and mood. And drinking enough water throughout the day does wonders for your joints and tissues – something she strongly believes.
“Caretakers need to take care of themselves, too!” she said. “The more they help themselves, the more they can help others."
Dr. Emmons advises her father to stay active, as she feels staying active equates to staying healthier.
"As you get older, you move less and less," she said. "And once you stop, it's hard to get going again."
While she agrees that he's no couch potato, given that he has an active job and plays basketball and golf in his spare time, she would still like to see him keep moving, even in retirement.
"It's vital that he keeps it up as he ages," she said. "Regular physical activity has been shown to have some health benefits and reduce the risk of diseases. And when it comes to my father, I want him around for as long as possible, disease-free."