Older Adults & Obesity

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Obesity continues to be a growing problem in the United States, and in recent years, nationwide statistics have shown that obesity is especially prevalent among the senior population. In fact, a 2010 study indicated nearly 70 percent of elderly adults are considered either overweight or obese. Here’s some important information about elderly obesity for seniors and their families. 

Increased Risk of Advanced Illness

Obesity is listed as one of the primary risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. When a person is overweight, his or her body, especially the heart, is required to work harder. As a result, a senior may have increased blood pressure and a much higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Both of these conditions are also closely related with an increased risk of heart disease, stroke, and certain types of cancer. Obesity also often causes sleep apnea, which is characterized by pauses in breathing or taking shallow breaths while sleeping. 

If your loved one needs help maintaining healthy habits, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of home care Potomac. You can rely on Assisting Hands Home Care to provide an individualized care plan to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our caregivers help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits, such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and we offer mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.

Risk Factors for Senior Obesity

The percentage of body fat increases with age as energy expenditure decreases while the number of calories consumed don’t. Seniors often experience mobility limitations, health conditions, or changes in their abilities that may make it difficult to perform certain physical activities, putting them at higher risk for obesity. For example, those with breathing problems or chronic joint or nerve pain are less likely to exercise. Lack of financial resources also plays a role in health, as seniors may opt to purchase more affordable foods, which are often processed and lack the essential vitamins and nutrients needed for a balanced diet that promotes healthy weight. 

Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional elder care. Potomac, MD, Assisting Hands Home Care is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.

Combating the Problem

There are several things families can do to help seniors combat obesity and lose excess pounds. First and foremost, it’s important to ensure your loved one takes part in some type of physical activity on a routine basis. It can be difficult for an older adult to begin a new fitness routine, so exercise should be introduced gradually. 

You can also incorporate healthier foods into your loved one’s diet, focusing on fresh fruits and vegetables. If you’re not sure where to start, talking with your loved one’s doctor or a nutritionist can help you create a plan tailored to your loved one’s individual needs. 

Helping your loved one exercise and eat nutritious foods can be a difficult task, but help is available. There are a variety of reasons family caregivers should consider respite care. Potomac, MD, families often have additional responsibilities that make it more challenging to provide the care their senior loved ones need and deserve. A professional respite caregiver can take over your important caregiving duties, allowing you more time to focus on yourself. Assisting Hands Home Care will work with you to customize a care plan that’s just right for your loved one’s needs. Call us today at (301) 363-2580 to discuss how we can give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing your loved one is being cared for with professionalism and compassion.