Though many people think weight loss is a necessary part of getting healthy, excessive weight loss can be just as dangerous as obesity. Unintentional weight loss can be a sign of some severe health issues among seniors. If your senior loved one is suddenly losing weight without attempting to diet, you may need to take some steps to address the issue.
Rule Out Problematic Causes for Weight Loss
If your loved one is dropping weight rapidly without dieting, schedule a visit with his or her doctor. Weight loss can be a symptom of gastrointestinal issues, diabetes, cancer, COPD, or heart failure. At the appointment, make sure to list the medicines your loved one is taking so the doctor can tell you if one of the medications may be causing the issue.
A professional caregiver can watch for changes in your aging loved one’s overall health and make sure he or she does not skip medical appointments. Rowlett elderly care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.
Pay Attention to What Your Loved One Eats
After you make sure no serious health conditions are causing the weight loss, begin monitoring your loved one’s caloric intake. Carefully track the food your loved one is eating to see if it is within recommended guidelines. Depending on age, height, activity level, and gender, your loved one may need to be eating between 1,600 and 2,400 calories per day. Calculate how many calories your loved one should be eating each day so you can begin helping him or her fulfill the deficit.
Make Sure Your Loved One Is Emotionally Healthy
Many seniors have difficulty eating enough calories due to psychiatric issues. Depression, body dysmorphia, alcoholism, and anxiety can make it difficult to focus on eating enough food each day. Communication is an important part of addressing dangerous weight loss. If possible, try to have an honest conversation with your loved one and ask why he or she is not eating. Some seniors may not be willing to open up about emotional issues, so be on the lookout for psychological issues.
Provide Better Access to Food
For many seniors, weight loss is an unintentional side effect of limited mobility, budgetary restrictions, or fatigue. If your loved one cannot easily make, buy, or access food, he or she may begin to eat less. To prevent this from happening, make sure plenty of easy meals are available if your loved one needs them.
Meal planning is one of many basic tasks seniors may need help with. If your aging loved one needs occasional help with bathing, grooming, cooking, or other basic household tasks, or if you need time to attend to important personal matters, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of live-in and respite care. Rowlett seniors can maintain their independence while living at home with the help of our reliable respite caregivers.
Use Meal Supplements
Changes in taste buds, smell, or other senses may make food seem unappealing to a senior. Even if your loved one has plenty of access to food and no underlying psychiatric issues, he or she may not eat enough food. In these cases, weight gaining shakes and other supplements can provide adequate nutrition. You can also add healthy fats and sugars to your loved one’s food to increase caloric intake.
Involuntary weight loss often indicates the onset of an underlying health condition. Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Rowlett seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more. To hire a professionally trained caregiver for your elderly loved one, call Home Care Assistance at (972) 722-7833 today.