How to Keep Your Extended Family Healthy

by - January 18, 2019

Health - according to some  - is always the responsibility of the individual. However, this doesn’t mean that you should not keep an eye on your relatives and help them out wherever you can. If you are a caring person, you might be good at spotting the signs that there is something wrong, so you can intervene without making the other person feel like you are taking over their life. If you would like to help your extended family stay healthy physically and mentally, you will have to learn to spot the warning signs. Find a few tips below.

The Elderly

Older people are extremely vulnerable, and it is a good idea to help them get a regular checkup just in case. Most people over a certain age get vaccinated against flu, and this can be a life saver for them. There are, however, certain vitamins and minerals they can take to keep their immune system strong, and avoid serious injuries. If you notice that they feel weak or disoriented often, you should try and talk to their physician and get a full examination. After all, you will want your own kids and younger relatives to do the same later in life.

The Workaholic

There is one highly motivated and career-oriented person in the family who simply works far too much. If you spot the signs of a workaholic, you should invite them to your family outings without interfering with their values. From going for a walk in the forest and practicing mindfulness to having a family dinner to celebrate, it is your responsibility to make programs appealing to the workaholic. If they keep on refusing your invitation, and you know that they are working far too hard, you might want to talk to family members who are closer to them to find out what is going on.

The Driver

People who drive for work and spend a lot of time traveling have a hectic lifestyle. This means that they have little or no time to look after their health. You need to monitor their stress level and help them find a work-life balance so they can switch off and relax when they have a day off. Help them out and invite them to programs with the family where they don’t have to drive and can take a break from busy roads. This will please them more than anything. At the same time, consider getting them safety and driver assistance gifts whenever you can, so they know you are thinking about them,

The Weekender

There is a specific type of person who loves burning the candle on both ends. They will be working very hard during the week and let go on the weekend. There is nothing wrong with it, unless they adopt unhealthy coping mechanisms. Whether you notice or not, they might be partying all weekend, and become addicted to substances. If you don’t really know what to do when you see an overdose, but you suspect them to use stimulants, you should talk to a professional.

Lonely People

People who haven’t found their soulmate yet, or have been single for a long time can also become recluse and more prone to depression. You as a family member should not try to play the role of a matchmaker, but certainly try to get them to be more social and engage in hobbies. Some people are perfectly OK to live alone, and they need the freedom, but they also need the support a family or friends’ network can provide.

New Mothers


Decades ago, most people didn’t really understand postpartum depression. Today, there is more awareness, but not enough support. It is important that you keep an eye on the new mothers in your family, and support them in any way possible. You should help them with videos and invite them to health and wellness classes where they can rebuild their confidence. If you are a mother yourself, you can certainly recognize the signs of low mood and depression and get them help before it is too late.

Disabled People

Disabled people want to be a part of the family, but simply don’t feel like being a burden. Next time you arrange a family day out, you should certainly make sure that they can take part. If you don’t pay attention to their specific needs, they will feel ignored and excluded. Family support is extremely important when people are dealing with life changing injuries and illnesses. You might think that you are not the closest relative, so you should not take responsibility, but you will have to think about others. Caring for a disabled person is a challenging task, and people would appreciate if you could give them some respite.

Dealing with Loss

When there is a loss in the family, we usually turn up at the funeral, send a sympathy card, and tend to forget all about it, getting on with our busy lives. Forgetting about those who are dealing with grief and are in need of company can be dangerous. You need to keep in touch and ensure that they are Ok, able to cope and manage on their own. This is especially true when someone loses a parent, a child, or a lifelong life partner. You should check up on your family members more often and get help if necessary.

Difficult Situations

There are difficult phases in everyone’s life, and not all of us can cope as well as we want to. You should always monitor the situation and offer support. When someone is going through divorce, separation, or loses their job, you have to be there to just ask “are you ok”. You might know someone who would be able to help, keep them company, or offer expert advice or a new perspective, so your family member can cope better and overcome their challenges.

Every family is different. However, the support and the care are some of the most valuable aspects of being a part of an extended family. You need to be there when people need you and keep an eye on their physical and mental health.






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