Obesity in Our Elderly
In addition to age-related concerns, many seniors must also contend with existing conditions that impact their health and wellness. Obesity is prevalent among the elderly, and has been linked to various health issues.
It’s important to explore the effect of obesity on our elderly and how it impacts their quality of life.
Addressing the Effects of Obesity in the Elderly
Obesity affects 42.8% of individuals over the age of 60, according to 2017-2018 figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Obesity has long been linked to an increased risk of health issues including hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease. These chronic conditions can become increasingly hard to manage for seniors as they deal with restricted mobility or cognitive decline.
In addition, obesity may also contribute toage-related challenges the elderly commonly face. Excess weight gain can place more pressure on joints, adding to the general wear-and-tear of daily life. The non-profit organization Obesity Action Coalition also notes that obesity may also be linked to poorer cognitive function.
There are many ways obesity can limit the independence and overall quality of life for our elderly. However, it’s unwise for seniors to attempt any kind of weight loss without consulting a doctor so they can do so safely.
As with any age group, eating balanced meals and exercising regularly are key parts of maintaining a healthy weight. Staying active has many benefits for seniors, as it can also help improve mood as well as physical balance.
It’s vital for seniors to consult a medical professional before making any changes to their lifestyle. A physician may recommend gentler exercises like swimming, yoga, or Tai-Chi. They may also suggest muscle-strengthening and balancing exercises to help reduce fall risks for seniors.
Losing weight can sometimes mean losing muscle as well as fat. Since seniors typically lose muscle as part of the aging process, this is another reason to consult a doctor before pursuing any significant weight loss plan. A doctor can also determine if any medications they’re taking could be causing gain weight.
In-Home Care Can Benefit Seniors with Obesity
Visiting Angels® specializes in custom in-home care for seniors who wish to retain their independence. Our caregivers can support seniors with obesity by preparing nutritious meals, accompanying them on walks and outings, and assisting with any errands or activities that have gotten more difficult.
With the right support in place, we can help your loved ones with obesity enjoy a higher quality of life at home.