Involuntary weight loss in senior years can be harmful if it remains untreated. It often turns into secondary health concerns like lethargy, depression, nutrient deficiencies, and heart palpitations. Keeping a senior at a healthy weight can be challenging for family caregivers, but following a few steps can help you ensure your loved one is taking enough calories. Opelika Home care providers share tips to help caregivers address their loved ones’ involuntary weight loss and boost their overall well-being.
1.Consult a Doctor
Sudden weight loss is often a result of severe medical conditions. Schedule an appointment to consult your loved one’s doctor and get your loved one’s blood tested to know if a health use contributes to weight loss. When visiting the doctor, bring a list of all medications your loved one currently takes.
2.Add Shakes and Supplements to the Diet
You should check if your loved one is getting enough vitamins and minerals until you develop a long-term solution. A temporary yet excellent way to manage involuntary weight loss is to supplement daily meals with high-calorie and multivitamin shakes. Most of the nutrients your loved one gets come from the whole foods they eat.
3.Include Colors and Flavors
If your loved one follows a strict diet for a few months, you may want them to try a few new dishes. While experimenting with new flavors, you can also consider changing the look of the food. A plate of colorful foods can spark the interest of seniors with different mental health issues.
Trying to lose weight with exercise is very difficult for seniors, but your loved one may need help to eat properly because their body isn’t being challenged. Older adults should start with low-intensity or moderate activities like walking around the house or the neighborhood for a few minutes. These activities may stimulate your loved one’s metabolism after a few days and enhance hunger.
5.Stock the Pantry with Nutritious Snack
As seniors continue to age, certain physical limitations can cause difficulties in preparing meals and snacks. If your loved one is introverted, they may feel embarrassed to ask for help, so don’t eat properly. In this case, stock your loved one’s refrigerator and pantry with healthy meals and snacks. Other options like sliced vegetables and fresh fruits can make ideal midday snacks.
Dehydration can exacerbate weight loss in seniors. It’s essential to ensure proper hydration throughout the day. Drinking adequate water, herbal teas, and clear broths can help maintain fluid balance and overall health.
Some medications can lead to appetite suppression or interfere with nutrient absorption. Seniors should discuss their medication regimen with their healthcare provider to explore alternative medicines or dosage adjustments that may alleviate these side effects.
8.Modify the Diet
A well-balanced diet is essential for seniors looking to regain lost weight and maintain their overall health. In daily meals, focus on incorporating nutrient-dense foods, such as lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats. Seniors may find it more manageable to consume smaller, more frequent meals and snacks, especially if they have a reduced appetite.
Loneliness and depression can contribute to weight loss in seniors. To combat this, promoting engaging social activities and nurturing robust social connections for older individuals is crucial. Such initiatives can profoundly impact seniors’ mental well-being, sparking a renewed interest in food and offering the vital emotional support needed to endure and succeed in the weight management journey.
Seniors and their caregivers should actively track progress throughout the weight management journey. Keeping a food diary, recording weight changes, and monitoring improvements in appetite and energy levels can provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of the chosen strategies.
Stress can negatively impact appetite and contribute to involuntary weight loss. Seniors should explore stress reduction techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, or relaxing hobbies to manage stress levels effectively.
Sudden weight loss can affect seniors’ quality of life and pose challenges in managing daily tasks. Living with a severe medical condition can make aging in place challenging. However, your loved one can maintain a higher quality of life by hiring professional Home Care Opelika Families should look for a reputable senior care provider. This is a great way for seniors to get assisted without leaving the comfort of home.