Obesity is a pervasive problem among elderly people, and being even a few pounds overweight can have a major impact on a senior’s health. If your aging loved one is having difficulty losing weight, it’s time to come up with a comprehensive weight loss plan. With a bit of perseverance and a few lifestyle changes, your loved one could look and feel better than ever.
Rule Out Medical Issues
Before an older adult starts a weight loss program, he or she should first speak with a doctor about any potential medical issues that could be affecting his or her weight. A wide variety of health problems can impact an individual’s weight, and those complications must be addressed as soon as possible. Seniors should take a closer look at all the medications they’re taking as well. Some medications can increase appetite or even alter metabolism, and seniors might need to speak with their doctors about altering the doses or giving them alternative prescriptions.
Start with a Goal
Everyone has slightly different goals when it comes to weight loss, and your loved one should have a clear idea of what he or she hopes to achieve. You can also work with a doctor or nutritionist to determine how much weight your loved one actually needs to lose and a general time frame for the program. According to one long-term study funded by the CDC, those who lose weight gradually are much more likely to keep the pounds off. As a general rule, older adults should only try to lose one or two pounds per week. Shedding weight too quickly could result in nutritional deficiencies, chronic fatigue, and other serious health problems.
A professional caregiver can be a great source of support for a senior who wants to lose weight in a healthy way. Home care service agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.
Stick to a Healthy Diet
There are hundreds of diets to choose from, and many of them will result in weight loss as long as seniors burn more calories than they consume. That being said, seniors need to be very careful about what type of diet they go on. A strict diet that severely limits what they can eat might help seniors lose weight, but they could end up with other health complications. Seniors tend to benefit most from a simple healthy diet that focuses on fresh produce, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean sources of protein.
If you usually help your loved one plan and prepare nutritious meals but need a break now and then, consider enlisting the help of a professional caregiver. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Anchorage, AK, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.
Determine Caloric Needs
Following a healthy diet is a great start, but seniors can still gain weight even if they’re eating nutritious foods. For the first few weeks of your loved one’s weight loss program, you might want to carefully track his or her calories. Once you’ve determined your loved one’s baseline caloric needs, you can then adjust how much food he or she eats. To keep an eye on your loved one’s calories, a food scale can be a very beneficial tool. You might also want to download a basic dieting app to your phone to keep an eye on what your loved one eats. Tracking calories is going to be time-consuming at first, but that hard work could pay off in the end.
Professional caregivers with training in nutrition and healthy habits can be a wonderful source of information and encouragement for seniors who need to lose weight. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of senior care. Anchorage families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. If your loved one needs professional care, Home Care Assistance is here to help. Call one of our dedicated Care Managers today at (907) 770-0907 to learn about the high quality of our in-home care services.