How to Reduce the Risk of Obesity in the Senior Years

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Obesity increases the risk of many diseases in older adults. The excess weight can have a negative impact on the organs and body systems, which is why seniors need to do everything possible to control their weight as they grow older. Here are some tips for older adults who want to prevent obesity.

Don’t Skip Meals

Although seniors need to practice portion control when eating meals, they should never skip out on dining altogether. Eating three healthy meals each day, along with nutritious snacks, can help seniors maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of obesity. Regular meals provide older adults with the fuel their bodies need to stay active and avoid overeating. When seniors skip meals, they may overeat or eat unhealthy foods that lead to weight gain, depression, and other health issues.

Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional senior care. Prescott, AZ, Home Care Assistance is here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.

Manage Stress

Chronic stress can stimulate the release of cortisol in the body, which increases the craving for sugary foods and the risk of obesity. Encourage your loved one to stay physically and socially active to reduce stress levels. Doing yoga, painting, learning something new, and participating in brain-stimulating activities can help seniors manage stress.

Take Up Water Aerobics

Exercising is important in the senior years, but many older adults are afraid of hurting themselves while doing the activities. Water aerobics consist of low-impact moves that reduce the risk of accidents and injuries and give seniors more confidence to continue exercising. Burning off calories with water aerobics can help older adults stay in shape and tone their muscles.

Older adults who need help exercising should consider professional in-home care. Prescott elder 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.

Stock the Pantry with Healthy Foods & Snacks

If aging adults don’t have access to healthy foods, they’re likely to eat foods high in saturated fats, sodium, and other ingredients that increase the risk of obesity. However, you can eliminate these temptations by making sure the refrigerator and kitchen cabinets are full of healthy foods. Preparing meals with your parent prevents him or her from turning to unhealthy meal options that cause weight gain.

Practice Better Sleep Hygiene

Failing to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep each night could increase a senior’s risk of becoming obese. Poor sleep quality could deregulate your loved one’s appetite, increasing the amount of foods he or she eats. When your parent doesn’t get adequate sleep, it could disrupt the secretion of hormones such as ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin increases appetite, and leptin lets the body know it’s satiated. When the secretion of leptin is disrupted, seniors may assume they’re hungry and overeat.

Obesity is a serious health issue that can impact an older adult’s health, wellbeing, and independence. Living independently is important for seniors who want to maintain a high quality of life. For some, this simply means receiving help with tasks that have become more challenging to manage over time. Even when families have the best intentions, they may not have the time to provide the care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. If your loved one needs help for a few hours a day or a few days a week, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of respite care Prescott seniors can depend on. To schedule a free in-home consultation, give us a call at 928-771-0105 today.