Elder Care: Strategies for Weight Management
With age, the body’s metabolism slows down and individuals generally become less active. As a result, weight gain can become a part of the natural aging process. That being said, it’s important for seniors to not allow their weight to get out of control. Not only can properly managing weight assist in mobility, it can further decrease the risks of heart attacks, strokes and other age-related conditions.
If you or an aging parent or loved one are struggling with weight, Philadelphia Home Care Assistance offers the following strategies to help you or your loved one manage weight in safe and simple ways.
- Limit your daily salt intakeSalt is part of our daily diet, especially for seniors who were raised before scientific studies of how salt affects the body adversely. Salt can make you retain water, feel bloated and affect the bodies’ natural ability to release waste. To avoid excessive weight, make sure to decrease salt intake on a daily basis. Drastic measures don’t have to be taken unless a doctor requires it. You can replace salt with other flavoring alternatives, such as garlic, which has health benefits and fresh herbs such as oregano and thyme.
- Establish which snacks are healthySeniors tend to indulge, especially after retirement. With less structure to the day, many seniors find themselves in the kitchen snacking out of boredom. Although snacking may help curb the appetite, it’s only appropriate if the snacks are healthy. Seniors should sit down with their doctors and determine which foods are healthy. General guidelines include staying away from processed foods, and striving to eat fresh vegetables, fruits and nuts.
- Look at your medicationsThe average senior takes at least 4 medications to help manage health and age-related conditions. While prescribed medications may be helping to manage an illness, chronic condition or health issue, some medications have interactions with other mediations or foods that can result in weight gain. If you feel that your daily diet and exercise regimen are at sufficient levels and you are still gaining weight, schedule an appointment with your primary care physician to see if one or a combination of your medications may be the cause.
These are just a few small tricks that can help boost a weight loss plan. Of course, diet is often only successful when combined with daily exercise, so seniors should also look to add physical activity to their regular routine, even if it’s just a walk around the block.
To learn more about healthy nutrition and fitness for seniors and older adults, reach out to the Philadelphia live-in care experts at Home Care Assistance. While we are recognized for our around the clock care services, we also provide flexible hourly care on an as-needed basis. Call us at 215-645-4663 for more information or to schedule a complimentary, no-obligation consultation today.