As we age our ideal healthy weight can change. Unfortunately, the usual tools for determining healthy weight, such as the body mass index (BMI), muscle to fat ratios, and waist circumferences may not be as applicable for elderly adults. Furthermore, these measurements should only be determined by a trained professional who understands the differences between healthy weight gain and weight loss in elderly and non-elderly adults.
How to Determine a Healthy Weight
A healthy weight limit for your loved one varies depending on medical conditions, medications, and height versus weight ratios. It is best to consult a family physician or a Long Beach in-home care provider to evaluate the ideal weight limit on your loved one rather than assess it yourself.
How to Maintain a Healthy Weight
A healthy weight requires the right amount of activity and a well-balanced diet—regardless of age. Nutritious foods, such as vegetables, fruits, dairy products, lean meats, and whole grains are important for an elderly person’s overall health and weight. Adding in a good amount of physical exercise—within his or her medical limits—also helps maintain an optimal weight.
Being overweight doesn’t necessarily mean an individual must diet or start an extensive workout plan, since some general health concerns are more important than losing weight. Elderly people who can benefit from losing weight should still speak to a physician before starting any weight loss diet or exercise program.
Sometimes all it takes is a little added activity throughout the day to help an elderly person lose weight. Combining activity with protein-rich foods can help reduce muscle loss and improve overall health. A Long Beach in-home care provider can ensure your loved one stays on a healthy diet and does the right type and amount of exercise every day.
Whether or not you hire a homecare agency, always be on the lookout for sudden or unexpected weight loss. If you notice a drop in weight with your loved one, this could be a sign of a serious health problem or medication issue. Contact your loved one’s physician immediately to get his or her healthy weight plan back on track.
Muscle Loss Issues
When people age they lose muscle mass naturally. This loss can lead to decreased mobility, falls, and trips. Physical activity can help slow muscle loss and prevent accidents that can result in serious injuries. A professional Long Beach in-home care agency employs skilled caregivers who can help monitor signs of muscle loss and get help before it becomes a growing problem.
Medical Risks of Being Underweight
While a healthy weight is necessary, some find it difficult to gain the right amount of weight. Elderly people who are underweight can suffer from osteoporosis, weaker immune systems, and mobility issues—all of which can be life-threatening if untreated.
It is best to consult a physician any time you want to analyze your loved one’s weight. Since weight can drop rapidly in an elderly adult, having a Long Beach in-home care provider that is trained and capable of monitoring your loved one’s meals, activity, and weight is important. Make sure the homecare company you hire contacts your loved one’s physician and keeps a detailed log of food, exercise, and weight loss/gain so that his or her physician can accurately diagnose potential problems and recommend the right plan of care.
If you are concerned about your loved one’s weight and overall health, a Long Beach in-home care agency can provide the assistance he or she needs in the comfort of home. Visit www.CambrianHomecare.com or call 877.422.2270 to see how.