One of the challenges your senior loved one may face is maintaining his or her ideal weight. Whether he or she needs to shed excess pounds or pack them on, achieving and maintaining a healthy weight will help your loved one avoid some serious health risks. Here are just a few reasons why it is important for your loved one to maintain a healthy weight, brought to you by the senior care professionals at Home Care Assistance of Anchorage.
1. Obesity Can Lead to the Development of Diabetes
Although your loved one’s advanced age already increases his or her risk of diabetes, being overweight or obese amplifies the risk even more. In fact, along with an inactive lifestyle, having a high body mass index (BMI) is one of the best predictors of whether or not someone might eventually develop diabetes.
2. Carrying Extra Weight Can Increase Heart Disease Risk
If your loved one has extra weight in his or her midsection, he or she may have an elevated risk of a heart attack or stroke. Decreasing the ratio of the waist-over-hips measurement can reduce the risk, which can be accomplished through diet and exercise.
3. Underweight Seniors Have a Greater Risk of Injuries from Falls
After a fall, seniors with a low BMI are more likely to suffer serious injuries such as broken bones, in part because of fatty tissue and muscle loss. Muscular tissue acts as a buffer, protecting the fragile skeletal structure from impact and damage.
4. Low Body Weight is Linked to a Lack of Nutrition
Another factor affecting slender seniors is nutrition. If your loved one is not consuming enough calories to maintain a healthy weight, he or she may also be missing out on important vitamins and minerals, including calcium and vitamin D for stronger bones and vitamin C for supporting a healthy immune system.
5. Being Underweight Can Increase Mortality Risk
After the age of 70, seniors who are underweight can experience negative health outcomes such as a weakened immune system. Low body weight is also considered a risk factor for Alzheimer’s.
Finding an effective exercise regimen and meal plan can be difficult for some seniors, especially those with mobility challenges or difficultly preparing complex meals. If your senior loved one could use a helping hand, you may want to consider part-time care in Anchorage. The caregivers at Home Care Assistance can run errands, grocery shop, cook, offer physical assistance, and provide emotional support through this new phase. To learn more, call (907) 770-0907 and speak with one of our qualified Care Managers.