6 Ways to Address Obesity in Older Adults

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Tips for Addressing Obesity in Seniors in Tampa Bay, FL

Statistics indicate that more than 27 percent of adults over the age of 65 are considered obese. Being extremely overweight has been shown to contribute to serious issues such as cardiovascular disorders, diabetes, depression, and physical disability. Families who want their older loved ones to live healthy, happy lives can use different tactics to address the issue. 

1. Share Your Concerns

Adult children with overweight or obese parents can begin addressing the problem by sharing their concerns with their loved ones. Determine how your loved one feels in general. Accompany your parent on a visit with the family physician, who might explain how your loved one’s weight is causing or could cause many health concerns. Work with the healthcare provider on developing a plan to enhance your loved one’s wellbeing. 

2. Encourage Physical Exercise

The main reason older adults become overweight or obese lies in the fact that they consume more calories than they use. Losing weight necessitates becoming more physically active. Invite your loved one to take a walk each day. Perhaps visit a local nature preserve or other interesting outdoor location to make the trek that much more enjoyable. Gradually work up to a routine exercise regimen. 

Even seniors who have mobility issues or health challenges can still exercise, especially with the help of trained professional caregivers. Homecare professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers.

3. Learn about Nutritional Needs

Metabolism slows with age. As a result, seniors who consume the same number of calories they did when they were younger are bound to add unwanted weight. The problem may be compounded for seniors who aren’t particularly physically active. Consulting with a dietitian provides the chance to determine your parent’s actual daily dietary needs. 

4. Avoid Serving Processed Foods

Processed food choices commonly contain excessive fat, salt, and sugar. Encourage your loved one to prepare meals using lean meats, poultry, or fish accompanied by fresh or frozen vegetables and fruits. Healthier snack options include a handful of nuts or seeds. Dairy products should be low-fat or fat-free.

If you’re a family caregiver who finds it challenging to have the time to plan and prepare healthy meals, consider hiring a professional caregiver for an hour or two a day or a few days a month. Some seniors need occasional assistance at home, and oftentimes the family members who take care of them need time away to run errands, take a nap, go to work, or take a vacation. Clearwater respite care experts from Home Care Assistance are available on an as-needed basis, giving your family peace of mind that your loved one will remain safe and comfortable while you relax or focus on other important responsibilities. 

5. Include Probiotics in the Diet

Some researchers believe obesity occurs secondary to the presence of certain microbial strains in the gastrointestinal system. These colonies need starch- and sugar-laden foods to survive. Older adults then crave sweets or starchy carbohydrates. Subsequently, they gain unwanted weight. Including fermented foods in the diet balances the microbial population in the gut. Kimchi, sauerkraut, and yogurt are examples of foods that encourage healthy bacteria while reducing the number of harmful colonies. 

6. Increase Fiber Intake

High-fiber foods help overweight seniors in different ways. As fiber isn’t easily digested, the substance takes up room in the stomach, which provides a sense of fullness for a longer time. Thus, fiber curbs cravings. Fiber also encourages the proliferation of healthy gastrointestinal bacteria, and fiber-rich foods are commonly lower in calories, which helps older adults lose weight. Increasing daily fiber intake involves including more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in meals.

Many seniors who find it challenging to maintain a healthy weight on their own discover that professional caregivers can provide the reinforcement and direction they need to make lasting lifestyle changes. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of elderly home care. Clearwater families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet their elderly loved ones’ 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. Call us at (727) 330-7862 to learn about our comprehensive in-home care plans.

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