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Losing Weight After 65: Tips, Strategies and Health Benefits

Last updated on January 10, 2024

Maintaining a healthy body weight has significant health benefits at any age. For older adults, the advantages of staying within a healthy weight range include reducing heart disease risks, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, and joint problems. Other benefits include:

  • Enhanced mobility
  • Improved energy levels
  • Increased strength and balance
  • Reduction in fall risks

If your loved one is over 65 and carrying a few extra pounds, they might be wondering how they can shed the extra weight — or questioning if they should even try. Although it may be more challenging than it was when they were younger, it is possible – with a bit of patience and the right approach – to achieve meaningful weight loss and a healthy mindset.

There are several simple and effective ways to lose or maintain a healthy weight, and these can be made even easier with the aid of a Visiting Angels caregiver. Your loved one's in-home caregiver can help plan, prepare, and remind your senior to follow doctor-recommended activities, meals, and exercise programs.

A Personalized Approach to Health for Seniors

“Healthy” means different things to different people. For some, it might mean staying within a specific weight range on the scale. For others, it might mean maintaining activity and energy levels or getting a good report after an annual physical exam.

No matter what your senior defines as “healthy,” it is important to tailor overall wellness to their needs, lifestyle, and preferences. Here are a few tips to help them get started and stay encouraged:

  • Talk to a doctor
    Your loved one’s weight loss journey should start with a conversation with a doctor who can provide personalized recommendations for your senior’s unique medical situation, lifestyle, and health needs. Their doctor can also help them zero in on goals — whether getting below a certain number on the scale, shedding inches, or lowering blood sugar, blood pressure, or cholesterol levels.

    Your senior’s doctor may also recommend a diet and exercise plan designed for their age, mobility, health concerns, and preferences. The doctor can also discuss the impact certain medications, health conditions, dietary needs, or other limitations may have on their progress.
  • Adjust diet
    Your senior will need to consume fewer calories than they burn to achieve weight loss. However, a slow metabolism, cravings for sweets, hunger, or low activity levels can make this much more challenging than it sounds.

    Your loved one should focus on eating lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables and drinking enough water to keep them fuller longer and provide the nutrition their body needs. Many weight loss programs also encourage tracking food intake using an app or an online tool, which helps to promote healthier choices and portion sizes while allowing flexibility for favorite foods and treats.
  • Promote patience
    Your senior shouldn’t expect significant weight loss to happen overnight. Be prepared for some difficulties along the way, and remind your senior to avoid being too hard on themselves if their efforts to stick with a plan aren’t always perfect.
  • Keep it sustainable
    Crash dieting or over-exercising can lead to burnout, injury, and nutritional deficiencies that can stall long-term progress — and sabotage motivation. Focus on helping your senior make small, sustainable changes they can live with for the long haul.
  • Incorporate activity
    Your loved one doesn’t have to run a marathon to stay active and fit. Incorporating moderate activity, such as chair exercises, short walks several times a day, or using an exercise bike, can help them burn calories, improve muscle tone, increase circulation, and boost cardiovascular health.
  • Seek support
    Make sure your loved one is surrounded by family, friends, or a group of people who support their health journey to provide motivation and encouragement when the going gets tough — and someone to celebrate with when they achieve their goals. A Visiting Angels in-home caregiver can also serve as a source of support by assisting your loved one with meals and shopping, serving as a walking buddy, or simply providing a listening ear throughout their journey.

Visiting Angels Can Help Promote a Healthy Lifestyle for Your Senior

Having a Visiting Angels caregiver by your loved one’s side can give them the support, motivation, and encouragement they need to succeed in their health and weight loss journey. To learn more about how a Visiting Angels caregiver can assist your loved one, contact your local Visiting Angels home care office to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation in-home consultation.

If you're interested in our compassionate home care services for you or a loved one, contact your nearest Visiting Angels home care agency today or call 800-365-4189.
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