These days when people think of healthy weight, they think in terms of shedding pounds. Due to our heretofore readily available food supply, overeating has been more of an American issue than the malnutrition that is due to food scarcity. As such we are naturally focused on obesity which leaves you at higher risk for diseases like diabetes, related cardiac issues, and hypertension. This is not always the case when considering a healthy weight in the elderly.
On the other hand, there are risks associated with being underweight or losing weight too quickly, especially in the elderly. Furthermore, there are some inevitable consequences of aging that can impact the health, nutrition, and weight of our senior loved ones. For example, loss of appetite through the loss of taste and smell as well as poor digestion and absorption of nutrients can contribute to unwanted weight loss.
We should not overlook the psychological reasons for both weight loss and gain. Loneliness and depression can be exacerbated by a lack of mobility or living in a long term care facility.
Whatever the circumstance…
It is important to be vigilant of your loved ones weight, in either direction, so as to ensure they get the proper care and can be as comfortable and healthy as possible in their twilight years.
You can find lots of information on this and other topics on our website. You can access all our posts on our Newsletter Blog Digest. Links to further research are always included. I hope you find them informative. Please do not hesitate to call me with any questions you may have.
Always here to help,
Anita Kamiel, R.N., M.P.S.
Director of Patient Services