Community Blog

Encouraging Weight Loss as a Part of Your Elderly Care Efforts

By Vicki and Brian Day

Elderly Care in Walnutport PA

Elderly Care in Walnutport PACarrying extra weight is not good for anyone, but for your aging parent it could dramatically increase the chances of her suffering from a wide variety of health complications. Being overweight or obese greatly increase the chances of suffering cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and many forms of cancer. Making weight loss part of your elderly care efforts for your aging parent can help her to shed those extra pounds and achieve better health so that she can have a healthier, more active life as she ages in place.

It can seem daunting to try to help your parent lose weight, but it does not have to be. You can make help your parent shed pounds and live healthier without it being a miserable experience. Use some of these tips to help you make encouraging weight loss a part of your elderly care routine:

• Drink more water. One simple change that can make a truly dramatic difference in your parent's ability to lose weight is just changing what she drinks. Soda, juices, and other high calorie beverages can pack on the weight quickly and make it difficult to trim down. Cut out these drinks and replace them with water to greatly reduce the number of calories that your parent consumes. Encourage her to have a refillable water bottle with her at all times. This will encourage her to drink more frequently. Not only will this give her body the hydration that it needs to function properly and to let go of the extra weight, but it will also fill her up so that she does not feel the need to eat as much.

• Avoid processed food. Processed and "convenience" foods tend to have subpar nutrition. That includes high calorie counts, too much fat, and excessive sodium. Reduce the number of these products that she has in her diet and replace them with whole, natural foods. This gives her actual nutrition, cuts down on what she should not be putting in her body, and encourages the act of cooking. Cooking her food encourages her to feel more connected with the food that she is eating so that she is more likely to eat a varied, healthy diet.

• Have fun moving. Physical activity is critical to weight loss and weight management. For many people, the thought of exercise is overwhelming. They have images of long aerobics classes or jogging around the neighborhood. It does not have to be that way. Any type of physical movement is beneficial. Look for movement that your parent enjoys and have fun integrating it into your care routine. This movement can be dancing, swimming, walking around the neighborhood, playing tennis, or maintaining the lawn. Whatever will get her active will help her to burn calories and shed weight.

• Eat the rainbow. When preparing meals, focus on getting as many colors onto the plate as possible. Half of any meal should be made up of vegetables and it is best to try to serve two or three different types. This will not only make the meal more visually interesting and flavorful, but also get a wider variety of nutrients into her meals.