Weight management is a common problem among seniors, leaving many grappling with obesity and other health concerns or confusion regarding how to exercise safely on a regular basis. With that in mind, it’s important for family caregivers to learn strategies that can empower their older loved ones to successfully manage their weight.
If you have a loved one who is facing weight challenges, dietary and exercise habits will likely be the first areas of modification. However, prior to making dramatic changes to your loved one’s daily routine, recognize that any poor diet or exercise habits are likely ones he or she has been practicing for years. Change isn’t going to happen overnight. Seniors who want to control their weight will need guidance and support with new activities.
A professional caregiver can be a terrific source of support for a senior who wants to maintain a healthy weight. Home care agencies can be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy.
Here are a few tips for how to encourage a healthier diet and exercise regimen.
Studies indicate slow changes to diet are often more effective in the development of long-term healthy habits, so slowly introducing healthy, low-calorie foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables while gradually eliminating sugary, high-fat items is recommended. Seniors should also cut out foods high in sodium as well as processed foods, replacing them with fresh produce.
While many seniors are aware of which foods they should be eating, making the transition to eating these foods on a regular basis can be difficult. Help your loved one set goals for which foods he or she would like to eliminate. For instance, pick a few items to cut out or cut back on. Perhaps this week, your loved one stops drinking soda and tries to cut back on sugar. Even small achievements should be rewarded to provide a sense of accomplishment.
If you usually help your loved one plan and prepare nutritious meals but need a break now and then, consider enlisting the help of an in-home caregiver. Families who find it difficult to care for their aging loved ones without assistance can benefit greatly from professional respite care. Kennebunk, ME, family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties can turn to Home Care Assistance. Using our proprietary Balanced Care Method, our respite caregivers can encourage your loved one to eat well, exercise regularly, get plenty of mental and social stimulation, and focus on other lifestyle factors that promote longevity.
As with diet, a new exercise regimen should be introduced slowly. What many people don’t realize is that exercise doesn’t have to be extremely strenuous to be beneficial. For example, if your loved one is accustomed to a sedentary lifestyle, start taking a 15-minute stroll together every evening. This activity will help your loved one get acclimated to being active. Plus, studies show exercising with another person makes it a social activity, and thus your loved one is more likely to participate in the activity because he or she looks forward to it.
As your loved one is able to build endurance, other small activities such as weight training can be introduced. As many fitness experts know, weight training is an incredibly effective way to manage weight because it increases metabolism and thereby elevates a person’s ability to burn calories while at rest. To ensure the weight training process isn’t too difficult, your loved one should begin with light weights (2 to 3 pounds) or use resistance bands that are designed for beginners.
At-home caregivers with training in nutrition and healthy habits can be a wonderful source of information and encouragement for seniors who need to maintain a healthy weight. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional homecare services. Kennebunk, ME, 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. Call Home Care Assistance at (207) 835-4849 to learn more about our flexible and customizable senior care plans.