The fifteen things you can do to protect your mum’s health now

THIS Mother’s Day, prioritise her health and wellbeing – she’ll thank you for it!

Buying a huge bunch of flowers and preparing a home-cooked Sunday roast make for a pretty wonderful Mother’s Day – especially if you do all the washing-up afterwards.

2

The fifteen things you can do to protect your mum’s health now

But if you want to go one step further this year, it’s not too late to set your mum on the right path with some health-boosting tips that will take care of her – in the same way she’s always taken care of you.

Keep her safe

It’s normal to worry about your parents taking a tumble and breaking something.

Bone density begins to wane from your 20s, and women are particularly prone to osteoporosis, especially after menopause, due to the drop in oestrogen levels.

Regular, low-impact, weight-bearing exercise is the way to combat this. Three ways to do it:

Public outrage as Andrew Will attend Prince Phillip service
MAFS star quits booze after 'drastic' impact on her mental health
  1. Do gyrotonics together. This combines yoga, tai chi, swim movements, dance and gymnastics, hitting core muscle groups and boosting flexibility.
  2. If your mum is active and steady on her feet, take her paddleboarding. It builds core strength, is easy on your joints, and once you’ve got the hang of it, is mindful to boot.
  3. If your mum’s a fall risk, download the FallSafety Home app on her phone. If she falls, it can detect this and sends alerts to her emergency contact. It also features a panic button (Fallsafetyapp.com).

Get her screened

If your mum’s always looking after others, Mother’s Day is the perfect time to remind her to take care of herself too by attending health screenings.

“A bit of gentle cajoling to go and have the checks is important,” says GP Dr Gill Jenkins, advisor to Deep Relief.

Don’t forget blood pressure and diabetes, or dental and eye checks either.

“Eye checks are particularly useful,” says Dr Jenkins. “You can diagnose all sorts of things looking at the eye, including diabetes and high blood pressure.”

Three ways to do it:

  1. Check when you’re both due your next smear test, and book it. Cervical cancer doesn’t just affect young women. The NHS offers cervical screenings every three years for those aged 25-49, and every five years for 50-64 year olds.
  2. Remind her to get her boobs checked. Breast cancer risk increases with age, and eight out of 10 cases happen in women over 50.* Screening can detect early signs and saves around 1,300 lives every year in the UK. It is offered every three years to women aged 50-71, and over-70s can self-refer.
  3. Order her a bowel cancer screening test kit. Bowel cancer screening is simple to do at home and helps catch the disease at an earlier stage. Kits are sent to 56 year olds and those aged 60-74 every two years. Over-75s can request one via the free helpline on 0800 707 6060.

Reduce her stress

You don’t have to rely on beauty treatments and spa retreats to reduce your mum’s stress levels.

Start by just having a good old chat with her. “Be with your mum, talk to her. We forget that it’s time with our loved ones that matters more than anything,” says Dr Jenkins.

“Simply talk to her about how she’s feeling.”

Three ways to do it:

  1. Go forest bathing (shinrin-yoku) – AKA a nice walk and talk in the great outdoors. Offering a combination of good company, fresh air, vitamin D and gentle exercise, it’s a proven anxiety-buster and can increase a sense of meaningful purpose in a person’s life.
  2. Sign her up to the AI ​​app Wysa. You won’t always be available to chat to your mum, but this cute penguin chatbot will. Offering everyday mental-health support, it’s there for a natter in real time and provides tips for busting stress and anxiety, like easy-to-follow neck-stretching videos and breathing exercises (Wysa.io).
  3. Clap your hands. OK, so standing with your mum and clapping your hands for 10 seconds might sound odd, but it has been found to help alleviate anxiety and snap you out of negative thinking.**

Eliminate her aches

Seeing a loved one struggling with pain or creaking with age can be tough, but there are ways to help ease any soreness.

Three ways to do it:

  1. Book her an Akwaterra body massage. It relieves muscle knots and tension using warm ceramic sandstone tools and essential oils. Sonia Khan, senior pharmacist and women’s health specialist, says: “Massage helps strengthen the muscles and joints, so if your mum suffers from arthritis or another painful joint condition, it can be a soothing way to alleviate some of the pain.”
  2. Order a couple of gua sha stone massage tools – and watch a YouTube video on how to do it together. A traditional Chinese practice, the smooth-edged stone is used to boost circulation and can even help minimise wrinkles – a win-win!
  3. Get the photo albums out and reminisce. Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences have discovered that a dose of nostalgia can be a drug-free way to reduce low-level pain like headaches. The scientists found sentimentality can have the power to decrease activity in parts of the brain connected to pain. “People forget that their parents had an exciting life, or still do,” says Dr Jenkins. “But you could learn a lot by asking questions about her memories, and in turn, potentially making your mum feel physically more comfortable.”

Help her to socialise

Age UK has warned that older people’s mental health has taken a major hit during the pandemic.

They found that 33% of over-60s say they feel more anxious, and 34% feel less motivated to do things they enjoy, while loneliness and low mood have drastically increased.

In fact, 5.1 million older Brits feel lonely, compared to 4.5 million in 2019.

Your mum might have become isolated over the past two years, and tending friendships and getting out and about as you age is vital. “We’re social animals, and if people don’t go outside, they can rapidly become nervous,” Dr Jenkins explains. “But going out builds confidence.”

Horrors of Russian 'butcher of Mariupol' who bombed ward & 'gassed Syrians'
Mediterranean-style villa with VINEYARD up for sale - you won't believe where it is

Three ways to do it:

  1. Boost her tech abilities to slash feelings of loneliness. Age UK’s friendship centers and befriending services are available online and by phone, and podcasts can help people feel more connected. Try Beautiful Stories From Anonymous People for interesting insights; Table Manners combines food with family, thanks to co-hosts Jessie Ware and mum Lennie; and Happy Place from Fearne Cotton dissects what true happiness means.
  2. Sign her up to Stitch. This social community is for anyone over the age of 50, whether they’re looking for love or companionship (Stitch.net). The site hosts group chats, virtual events and real-life activities, depending on where you live.
  3. This is simple, but revolutionary – ask your mum how she wants to spend her time. If you don’t know she has a burning desire to learn salsa, how can you possibly find a class for her to join?
Set your mum on the right path with some health-boosting tips

2

Set your mum on the right path with some health-boosting tips

Leave a Comment