While seniors do have a high risk for malnutrition and that is something families need to be concerned about they also need to be concerned about seniors being overweight. According to some estimates more than 15 million seniors in the U.S. are clinically obese, and that number is rising. Obesity can lead to serious health problems by itself and it can also make other health conditions worse. Seniors should try to maintain a healthy weight so that they can live longer and have a better quality of life. This can be done with help from homecare services.
There are a lot of reasons why seniors gain weight. As seniors get older and lose some of their mobility they are less likely to exercise as much as they should. They also aren’t as active as they used to be when they retire and no longer have a daily commute or walking around the office all day. Medication side effects often include weight gain or appetite changes. Their diet also plays an important role. Since seniors can struggle to get to a healthy weight and stay there a homecare provider can be a big help in planning meals and exercise to help seniors lose weight.
The Role That Diet Plays
Exercise is a vital component of weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight. But some researchers say that diet may play an even bigger role in losing weight. Seniors often struggle to eat healthy meals and that can make it harder to stay at a healthy weight or lose weight.
There are many reasons why seniors find it challenging to eat healthy like:
- Lack of access to fresh fruits and vegetables
- Unable to comfortably shop for food on a regular basis
- Can’t carry heavy bags of groceries
- Can’t grip pots and pans or cooking utensils
- Financial struggles make it tough to buy healthy food
- Trouble eating healthy produce before it goes bad
Reasons to Hire Homecare Providers
Having a homecare provider that comes in regularly can really help your senior loved one eat a better diet. A homecare provider can help your senior parent cook healthy meals and will also make sure that they are eating enough during the day. A homecare provider also can shop for your loved one regularly so that your loved one can eat the fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains they should be eating to regulate their weight.
Other ways that you can help a senior loved one get to a healthy weight and stay there include:
- Share meals with them
- Cook meals for them and portion them into individual containers so that they don’t overeat
- Take them for a walk
- Make sure there are healthy groceries in the house or have some delivered
- Sign them up for a healthy meal kit that sends all the ingredients to make healthy meals to the house directly
- Sign them up for a farm share or CSA box filled with local fruits and vegetables
Get creative on ways that you can help your senior loved one lose weight. Talk to their homecare provider and together you can create menus, shopping lists, and exercise plans that will help your senior parent lose weight.