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Obesity and the Aging Population

By admin, 9:35 pm on

Obesity has been a growing problem within the United States, and in recent years, nationwide statistics have shown that obesity is especially prevalent among the senior and elderly population. In fact, a 2010 study indicated that nearly 70% of elderly adults are considered either overweight or obese. As a leading provider of Palm Beach County home care, we believe that education is key in helping to reduce this problem, and have put together some important information about elderly obesity for seniors and their families.

Increased Risk for Advanced Illness

Obesity is listed as one of the primary risk factors for cardiovascular related diseases. When overweight, the body, more specifically the heart, is required to work harder. As a result, the senior may suffer from increased blood pressure and is at a much higher risk for developing type II diabetes. Both of these conditions are also closely related with an increased risk for coronary heart disease, stroke, certain types of cancer, and often cause sleep apnea which causes pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while sleeping. If you have an aging parent or loved one who struggles with cardiovascular conditions, learn more about how live-in and stroke home care in Palm Beach County can help promote safety, comfort and quality of life.

Risk Factors for Senior Obesity

Body fat composition increases as we age. While energy expenditure decreases, calories consumed do not. Seniors experience a change in abilities, mobility or suffer from certain health conditions which may make it difficult to perform certain physical activities, leaving them at a higher risk. For example those with breathing problems or who experience chronic joint or nerve pain are less likely to exercise. Lack of financial resources also plays a role in health as seniors may opt to purchase more affordable foods which are often processed and lack the essential vitamins and nutrients needed for a balanced diet that promotes healthy weight.

Combating the Problem

There are several things that families can do to help a senior combat obesity and lose excess pounds. First and foremost, it is important to ensure that your aging parent or loved one takes part in some type of physical activity on a routine basis. It can be difficult for an older adult to begin a new fitness routine, so they should be introduced gradually. You can incorporate healthier foods into the diet, focusing on fresh fruits and vegetables. If you’re not sure where to start, talking with your loved one’s doctor or a nutritionist can help you create a plan tailored to the individual needs of your aging loved one.

Understand that obesity is a problem that many of today’s seniors are struggling with, Home Care Assistance has created a unique approach to care, also known as the Balanced Care Method™ which emphasizes the importance of healthy nutrition as well as daily exercise, socialization and how to promote calmness and purpose for seniors and older adults. Call 561-429-8292 today to speak with a Home Care Assistance Care Manager and learn more about our professional and compassionate Palm Beach live-in caregivers.