Talking to a Loved One On Their Declining Health: 4 Necessary Tips

Talking with a loved one on their declining health isn't easy.

We all have someone in our life that we would do anything for, whether it’s a friend, partner, child, parent, grandparent, or mentor. When someone important to us isn’t taking care of themselves and their health, it can be challenging to know how to help. What do you do in that situation? How can you show them you care without offending them? We’ve compiled a few tips on how to handle this. 

A Loved One Is Not Taking Care of Their Health—What Can You Do? 

Be a good example. 

If it’s their weight that is concerning you, you can offer to go on a walk with them, suggest going for a bike ride together, or invite them to join you on a hike — any sort of exercise. If it’s a drinking habit you’ve observed, suggest going for tea or coffee. If your loved one lives at home with you, start implementing healthy regimens within the household.

Avoid judgmental comments. 

Weight gain can be a result of an underlying disease you may or may not know about, and it’s important to remember that addiction is a disease as well. Oftentimes those who are supporting the individual that is making challenging life changes do not necessarily understand what they are going through. It’s important to take a step back and to just listen.   

Show them you care. 

If you notice them exercising more, going to therapy, reaching for a water instead of an alcohol beverage, or spending more time outside, let them know you’ve noticed the positive change and that you are proud of them. This will show them that the changes they are implementing are apparent to those around them and they’ll likely want to keep it up. 

Mistakes happen. 

If they slip up on their new routine (whether diet, exercise, sobriety, etc.), let them know that mistakes are a part of all processes. This doesn’t set them back from their progress. Change cannot happen overnight. Remind them that the past is in the past and that they are the only one who can control their present and their future.

It’s All a Part of the JourneySometimes loving someone means having challenging conversations about their declining health.

At the end of the day, if none of these tips work, just know that you tried. If they are willing to make a change, you can be there for them. However, it is not your responsibility to alter their habits. If they are not willing to make a change, you can also be there for them. You can only hope that they eventually make the changes that will benefit them in the long haul.  

For more health tips and how to prevent and avoid declining health visit our Hospitality Health ER blog. We’ve covered Heart Health Superfoods, Low Calorie Foods, and lots more. For notifications on new posts and what’s new at HHER, follow along with us on Facebook