As people age, losing weight may become more difficult due to a slower metabolism and physical changes that make exercise more difficult. In addition, some people have a mindset that gaining weight is just part of getting older. Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is important at any age, though. If your parent is overweight, shedding those excess pounds could help them to lower their blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart attack, and even reduce the risk of dementia. Even with a slower metabolism and some trouble with exercising due to an aging body, there are still many ways your parent can work toward losing some weight and leading a healthier life. Here are some tips to help your parent lose weight.
Your parent should get about 64 ounces of water every day. To make this easier, try purchasing a refillable water bottle for your parent to carry with them. Ask your parent’s home care provider to refill the bottle often and remind your parent to drink if they are not. As people get older, they may not sense when they are thirsty due to changes in the hypothalamus where hunger and thirst are controlled. Since the body sometimes mistakes thirst for hunger, if your parent is not drinking enough, they may eat excess calories instead.
#2 Boost Protein Intake
Eating more protein can help combat the natural loss of muscle tissue as your parent ages. Protein can also help your parent feel full longer. Plan meals for your parent that include 30 grams of lean protein per meal. If your parent has difficulty cooking or shopping on their own, a home care provider can drive them to the grocery store and also help them to cook meals.
#3 Ditch the Scale
You want your parent to lose fat and not muscle or organ tissue. Since the scale measures overall pounds, including muscles and organs, focusing on that number is inappropriate. Instead, use your parent’s waist size to follow their weight loss progress. In general, a person’s waist should measure no more than half of their height. Your parent’s home care provider can help track weight loss by assisting your parent with measuring their waist.
#4 Add in Weight Training
Since people lose muscle as they age, adding some weight training to their daily routine can help preserve muscle mass. Also, the more muscle a person has, the higher their metabolism. Your parent should start slowly with light weights or with resistance training and gradually build up to more strenuous exercise. If your parent feels unsafe while exercising because they fear a fall or injury, the presence of their home care provider during exercise may help calm some of those worries.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in Strasburg, PA, contact the caring staff at Extended Family Care of Lancaster. Call today at (717) 205-2174.
A long-time resident of Lancaster County, Mary Lynne enjoys spending time with her husband Terry, and their 3 horses and collies. The countless hours of caring for her client and employee-based “family” at work and at home can truly depict the selfless character of Mary Lynne Heller. Mary Lynne is a Google Verified Author
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