In years past, the majority of seniors were more concerned about being underweight than overweight. However, as the number of elderly obese continues to rise, this trend is clearly changing. According to estimates from the Congressional Research Service, if current patterns continue, nearly half of the elderly population will be obese by the year 2030. Why are the elderly at risk for becoming overweight? And what can family members and caregivers to do encourage healthy living habits?
The Obesity Epidemic
There are many circumstances that factor into why seniors become overweight, such as loss of mobility and a less active lifestyle. Elderly persons who live in assisted living facilities or retirement communities are often offered large portioned, calorie-rich meals. Seniors who live alone may not always make healthy food choices either. Family members and caregivers play a vital role in ensuring seniors stay fit and healthy. With the help of a comprehensive homecare system or homecare software, such as ClearCare Online, caregivers can set daily tasks for preparing nutritious meals and engaging the senior in physical activities.
How Obesity Affects a Senior’s Health
As we grow older, our organs do not function as efficiently. When we are older and overweight, it becomes an even greater strain on our organs. The hearts of overweight seniors have to work much harder to pump blood throughout the body, which results in the enlargement of the heart muscle. This can lead to serious heart disease.
Obese seniors are also at risk for developing:
- High cholesterol
- Certain cancers
- Breathing problems
With the help of a sophisticated homecare system and homecare software, caregivers can help their senior clients create healthy routines and avoid these serious health conditions.
Along with good nutrition, daily exercise is a key factor in preventing and treating obesity. Burning calories not only helps seniors stay fit, it also promotes good cardiovascular health. Caregivers can utilize ClearCare Online’s homecare system and homecare software for setting daily tasks that include different physical activities. Even seniors with limited mobility can engage in some form of exercise – whether it is swimming, yoga, walking, or low-impact aerobics.
A robust homecare system or homecare software is also helpful when monitoring patients’ health. For seniors who are trying to lose weight, caregivers can set goals and track pounds lost. ClearCare Online’s homecare system also makes communication very easy, allowing caregivers to connect with physicians and family members on a regular basis. Concerns can be addressed quickly before they become serious problems.
The elderly have worked hard their entire lives so that they can retire and enjoy their golden years. As family members and caregivers, each of us should do everything we can do help them do so more fully – including encouraging healthy living habits.