One of the most important things you can do to help a senior loved one stay healthy is work with him or her to maintain a healthy weight. Obesity is associated with a variety of health issues, including increased risks for heart attack, dementia, diabetes, and arthritis. Here are some ways you can help your loved one maintain a healthy weight and prevent obesity-related diseases.
1. Don’t Serve Processed Foods
Many people who successfully prevent obesity eat home-cooked meals. Homemade foods tend to have less sugar and fat than packaged items. Whenever possible, try to avoid feeding your loved one frozen dinners, prepackaged snacks, or fast food meals. Instead, focus on meals made from whole grains, lean proteins, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Especially avoid the empty calories found in sodas, fruit juices, and other processed drinks.
If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining healthy habits, consider hiring a professional caregiver. Families can rely on Home Care Assistance North Broward to provide dedicated and compassionate in-home caregivers who are trained in our holistic Balanced Care Method, which was designed to encourage seniors to exercise often, eat nutritious foods, maintain strong social ties, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.
2. Know the Nutritional Requirements
Seniors tend to develop obesity because their metabolism naturally slows with age. Those who aren’t aware of age-related changes in metabolism may end up overeating. Calculate your loved one’s total daily energy expenditure to get a rough idea of the amount of calories he or she needs. It may be helpful to work with a nutritionist who can recommend the amounts of protein, fat, carbs, and vitamins your loved one needs to feel full and nourished without gaining weight.
3. Provide Plenty of Probiotics
Obesity may also be linked to the bacteria in a person’s gut. Certain problematic bacteria make the body crave sugary, unhealthy food, while helpful bacteria can reduce cravings. A good way to make sure your loved one is getting the right types of bacteria in the intestinal tract is to increase his or her probiotic intake. Seniors can get probiotics from certain types of yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, and other fermented foods.
4. Encourage Movement
When it comes to preventing obesity, even small amounts of physical exercise make a big difference. Encourage your loved one to do simple things like walk around the block after dinner or go for a swim in the afternoon. If possible, encourage your loved one to try weightlifting. Lifting weights is one of the most effective exercises for preventing obesity because people who have more muscles burn more calories throughout the day.
Helping your loved one exercise can be a demanding task. There are a variety of reasons family caregivers should consider respite care. North Broward, FL, families often have additional responsibilities that make it more challenging to provide the care their senior loved ones need and deserve. A professional respite caregiver can take over your important caregiving duties, allowing you more time to focus on yourself.
5. Serve High-Fiber Foods
Foods that are high in fiber help with obesity prevention through several methods. Since fiber isn’t digestible, it sits in the stomach for a while and helps seniors feel full. Fiber also helps increase good gut bacteria. Finally, it’s useful because most types of fiber, such as crunchy vegetables, whole grains, and fruits, are generally low in calories. Seniors who eat a fiber-rich meal can feel satisfied without having to eat a lot of calories.
Preventing obesity can reduce a senior’s risk of serious health issues. Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from receiving live-in care. North Broward, FL, Home Care Assistance are leaders in the elderly in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s. Call 954-906-5161 today to schedule a free in-home consultation.