13 March 2014,

Senior Woman Being Served Meal By CarerThere are many causes for concern when providing elder care for someone who is obese.  Health complications and the risk of being affected by various diseases are more likely to arise for elderly people who are obese.  It is important to create awareness to the health risks at stake for a person who is obese and take positive steps to getting weight management under control.

What is Obesity?

Obesity refers to body weight that is greater than what is healthy for a person’s height. Obesity is measured by the body mass index (BMI) that is calculated based on your height and weight.  The more body fat and weight above what is normal makes it more likely to develop the following:

  • High blood pressure
  • Breathing problems
  • Angina (chest pain caused by lack of oxygen to the heart)
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Gallstones
  • Certain types of cancers
  • Type II diabetes
  • Depression
  • Osteoarthritis (joint disorder)
  • Sleep apnea

As we age, our body’s physiology slows down and organs don’t function as efficiently as when we were younger.  Being obese is going to have an even bigger impact on our body’s ability to function.  The heart has to work even harder to pump blood for obese seniors.

If you provide elderly home care for someone who is obese, speak with the physician or a dietitian to advise a plan that can help with weight loss.  Get support from family members and friends to decide the best course of action to manage care for someone who is obese.

Make an appointment to meet with a nutritionist and come up with a diet plan.  Having a plan of action, a diet to follow, and people who can help prepare the healthy meals or snacks is a big encouragement to a person trying to eat better and lose weight.

Keep track of calorie intake.  It is recommended by the FDA that the average person consume 2,000 calories each day of foods consisting of dairy, meats, breads, fruits, and vegetables.  They also recommend drinking eight to ten glasses of water per day.  It is a common mistake people make to confuse dehydration and hunger.  Weigh yourself once a week and keep a record.

Exercise is going to play a big part in the daily routine for a person who is obese. However, this can be challenging due to the extra weight they are carrying.  It is important to discuss an exercise plan that is right for the individual.  Start out slowly and be patient and positive.

The main thing to remember when providing elder care to an obese individual is to set realistic goals.  Reducing weight by five to ten percent every six months is considered sufficient enough to reduce the risk of diseases or health complications.

For more information about how the caregivers at La Jolla Nurses Homecare can help your aging parents remain living independently in their own homes, call 858-454-9339. We are an elder agency providing quality and affordable elder care in La Jolla CA, and the surrounding communities.