As we get older, our activity level reduces, and our metabolism slows down. Slow metabolism is the main reason for geriatric weight gain. Moreover, old age also leads to a significant decrease in thyroid gland responsiveness which results in fat accumulation.
Maintaining a healthy weight can help seniors ward off multiple health issues and can also prevent existing ones from worsening. Excessive geriatric weight can lead to several problems such as stroke, diabetes, blood pressure, and increased cholesterol.
If you’re nearing old age or have a parent or grandparent facing age-related weight gain, here are some tips to manage and control its progression.
Helping the Elderly Prevent and Control Age-Related Weight Gain
Tackling geriatric weight gain is much easier in the initial stages. The focus should be to quickly detect the extra pounds, identify the reasons, and act accordingly without delays. Moreover, making lifestyle changes and eating arrangements can also help the elderly in halting and reducing unnecessary weigh gain.
Here are some tips to help your elderly parent stay fit and healthy:
- Encourage healthy eating. People in the subcontinent typically eat oily and fatty foods that might accelerate the chances of age-related weight gain
- Divide meal portions into three to five parts
- Ensure that the meal consists of adequate nutrients and a balanced amount of salt and sugar usage
- Avoid processed, canned, packaged food that contains preservatives, fats, sugars, and empty calories
- Incorporate high energy food itemsin their diet such as nuts, beans, porridge, and wheat
- Encourage them to stay active. Accompany them in evening and morning walks or employ a senior healthcare giver in case you’re unable to make time
- Plan bi-weekly or monthly outdoor trips to uplift their mood
- If your aging parent is in good physical health, accompany them on a holiday trip to their favorite location
- Always make sure to thoroughly discuss the side-effects of prescribed drugs to understand the root cause of geriatric weight gain
- Keep a check on their vitals by getting them tested for essential body minerals and chemicals
- Avail assistance of a professional senior care facilitiesto help your old mates manage and maintain a healthy lifestyle
Why is Age-Related Weight Gain Prevalent
Unfortunately, geriatric weight gain is often ignored in India. People usually don’t pay much attention to this issue unless it escalates into something serious. While it’s normal to gain a few kilos with age, it’s important to understand its causes for proper prevention and control.
Changes in lifestyle, loss of independence, disorientation are commonly associated with age-related weight gain. Moreover, isolation or medical issues can also act as a catalyst for weight gain. Seniors on regular medicines might suffer from intense cravings or food aversions that lead to changes in physical mass.
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