How to Prevent Obesity in the Elderly

How to Help Older Adults Keep Obesity at Bay

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Obesity is the leading cause of cardiovascular conditions and strokes in the elderly. When combined with preexisting medical conditions and certain prescription drugs, obesity can be harmful to your senior loved one. Here are some strategies to prevent obesity among aging adults.

Encourage Mild Exercise

Even mild forms of exercise can boost metabolism and promote weight loss. Invite your loved one to take a leisurely stroll with you after meals, which prevents obesity, aids in digestion, and promotes restful sleep. Check with the physician before starting a new exercise regimen to make sure your loved one is healthy enough to participate. 

Older adults who need help exercising should consider professional in-home care. Chandler home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.

Suggest Adopting a Dog

If your loved one is able to take care of an animal, suggest adopting a shelter dog. Your parent may enjoy walking the dog and getting exercise outdoors in the fresh air. Exercising with a dog is an easy way to prevent obesity. Your loved one might lose weight and also enjoy the benefits of increased muscle strength and coordination, lower blood pressure, and better cardiovascular function. However, it may not be wise to adopt a dog if your parent has preexisting medical conditions such as severe heart disease, allergies, impaired vision, degenerative joint diseases, or cognitive health issues.

Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Chandler seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.

Monitor Medications

Certain medications can cause weight gain and raise the risk for obesity. For example, medications known as beta blockers, which are used in the treatment of high blood pressure, migraine headaches, anxiety, and cardiac arrhythmia, can slow metabolism and cause exercise intolerance. If your loved one takes beta blockers such as propranolol and is gaining weight, talk to the physician about lowering the dosage or prescribing an alternative medication that is less likely to inhibit weight loss. Don’t suggest that your loved one stop taking beta blockers without getting medical clearance first. Doing so may raise the risk for a life-threatening cardiac arrhythmia, chest pain, or serious spike in blood pressure.

Ensure Adequate Protein Intake

If your parent isn’t on any dietary restrictions because of renal or cardiovascular issues, incorporate more protein-rich foods into his or her diet. Protein raises the metabolic rate and makes it easier to manage weight. Talk to the physician to determine how much extra protein to add to your loved one’s diet, and decrease the amount if you notice any adverse reactions. Side effects from high-protein diets may include gastrointestinal issues, urinary tract disorders, palpitations, and headaches.

Older adults can prevent obesity by making several healthy lifestyle choices. If your aging loved one needs help managing everyday tasks or encouragement to adopt healthier lifestyle choices, turn to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of elder care. Chandler Home Care Assistance provides professional in-home caregivers around the clock to help seniors live longer, happier, and healthier lives. To create a comprehensive in-home care plan for your elderly parent, give us a call at 480.448.6215 today.

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