Helping Your Senior Loved One Stay at a Healthy Weight
There’s a lot that goes into caring for our senior loved ones. Their mental health, emotional wellbeing, and physical health all require regular maintenance. As they age, these areas of wellbeing become more and more important to maintaining overall health.
When it comes to physical health, it can be all too easy to concentrate solely on doctor’s visits, medications, and making sure that whatever health issues come up are dealt with in a timely fashion. But there is more to health than regular checkups and adherence to medication schedules. One area that can easily be overlooked has a profound impact on health – weight. Read on to learn more about what constitutes a healthy weight for seniors.
How Weight Plays Into Health
Our weight can affect our health in a variety of ways. It becomes even more important to maintain an appropriate weight through diet and exercise as we age and other health issues take their toll on our bodies. Caring for your senior loved one requires paying attention to their weight and helping them to maintain it as best they can.
Talking about weight with our senior loved ones can be a challenging proposition. So what constitutes a healthy weight for those of us in our later years? How should we talk to our senior loved ones about maintaining a healthy weight? How can we help senior loved ones stay in shape as they age?
A Healthy Weight for Seniors
When it comes to maintaining a healthy weight as we age, it is helpful to have some guidelines to rely upon. After all, aging bodies are different than younger bodies, and what might constitute a healthy weight for someone in their twenties, may not constitute a healthy weight for that same person in their seventies, eighties, and nineties.
In fact, carrying a few extra pounds can be damaging for your health when you are young, but being underweight can be far more dangerous as we age.
One way to gauge the weight of a person is to compare their height and weight to a Body Mass Index or BMI. But keep in mind what we mentioned above when you calculate the BMI of your senior loved ones. Current studies show that being overweight won’t necessarily damage your senior’s health – barring diabetes or other weight-related issues that can cause a myriad of problems. However, being underweight can be an indicator of poor health and potential complications.
How to Talk to Your Senior Loved Ones About Their Weight
Talking to anyone about weight can be a dicey proposition. Most of us would rather not hear about our weight, regardless of our age. But for our senior loved ones, having a conversation about maintaining a healthy weight through a combination of diet and exercise could be the difference between life and death.
This is an important conversation to have, and you can help to normalize the conversation by including it in the context of regular check-ins or visits. Further, including weight as a part of routine medical care can do wonders when it comes to de-stigmatizing the subject and its discussion.
If you need help finding the words to speak with your senior loved ones regarding their weight, how they are eating, and if they are getting enough physical activity to maintain their muscle mass and optimum body weight, consider consulting with medical professionals in your community, or getting strategy and language from online and other sources.