Health

Methods for Preventing Obesity in Older Adults: Geriatric Care

Doctors take into consideraton a lot of factors before coming to the conclusion that a person is healthy. Mental health is one of the factors included when evaluating a person’s health. This is because good mental health is crucial for healthy living and can affect physical health. The behavioral patterns formed in a poor mental state can cause drug abuse and eating disorders, which affect your life.

Some factors looked at when assessing good health include eating patterns, sleep, and the ability to perform tasks. Weight is also a health indicator because it puts you at risk for an array of disease.

The World Health Organization defines overweight in people as a Body Mass Index (BMI) greater or equal to 25. If your BMI of 30 or higher, you are termed obese. If you are uncertain where you lie, you should consult a general practitioner for more information about your weight.

People who are overweight or obese are at higher risk of contracting several chronic and fatal diseases than healthy people. The most common ailments among obese and overweight people include:

  • Breathing problems
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Strokes
  • Hypertension ( High blood pressure)

Research data from a survey done between 2017 and 2020 shows that 41.9 percent of Americans are obese. It is also sad that predictions show that the number would increase with time. You should make efforts to ensure you are not obese.

If you lead a healthy lifestyle, exercise regularly, and manage your diet, you can avoid obesity. However, it is usually difficult for some people to avoid obesity. For some, obesity is genetic, a side effect of medicine, or a result of an underlying health condition.

It may also be difficult for senior citizens to manage their weight. Older people are less active and may also have conditions that may limit their control over their weight. Therefore, elderly patients will need the advise of a geriatric doctor to help them manage their weight and prevent obesity.

Apart from visiting a general care physician regularly, there are efforts you can take to help geriatric patients avoid obesity and being overweight. Some of the steps you can take to help the elderly manage their weight include:

Eating Healthy Foods

A healthy diet is paramount for anyone looking to manage their weight. You need to note what you take in and how often you eat it. Therefore unhealthy eating habits often lead to obesity.

The diet of aging adults should contain fruits, lean proteins, vegetables, and whole grains. These foods are healthy and provide nutritional benefits. In addition, seniors should avoid refined grains, red meat, processed foods, and sugary drinks. 

 It is also crucial that you incorporate water into your diet. Water cleanses the body, strengthens digestion, and aids in burning calories. Also, increase the intake of tomatoes, fennel, cabbage, and carrots.

If their weight is slightly off, attempt to bring it down using home remedies. People often use green tea or a honey and lemon combination to help them control weight gain.

Exercise Regularly

Most seniors have reduced physical activity. They barely leave the house; they have people to manage and run things for them. However, this may put seniors at a higher risk of obesity or being overweight.

Elderly persons may not be able to take upon a rigorous workout plan, however, there are efforts they can make. Seniors should take at least 30 minutes every day to exercise. This will help them stay fit and healthy and avoid obesity.

Seniors should ease into physical exercise since their bodies will not adapt as fast as they used to. Therefore, they can start with simple exercises such as regular walks around the block. Once they can handle that, they can take on more exercise, like aerobics classes for seniors or stationary bikes. 

Mental Exercise

Mental exercise is as important as physical health. There are several ways a senior can exercise their mind. Meditation is one of the best ways for geriatrics to take control of their mental health. Meditation can help them form healthy eating habits and avoid mental illnesses and stress.

Other activities that can help with mental exercise include gardening, puzzles, board games, and playing a musical instrument. These activities will help keep their brain alert, strengthen bonding, help with impulse control, and much more.

Getting Ample Sleep

Getting enough sleep and maintaining a regular sleep schedule is critical for a healthy life and weight management. You need between 6 and 8 hours of sleep. Surprising as it may seem, sleep deprivation can lead to weight gain.

When you are sleep deprived, the body produces a hormone called cortisol. This hormone leads to an increase in the breakdown of carbohydrates to increase glucose levels in your bloodstream. In normal situations, this process is necessary for survival when you are in danger.

Even though there was no energy exertion in this case, the effect of the hormone increases appetite and subsequent eating, which can lead to weight gain. Also, elevated cortisol levels will leave your body craving sweets and salty or fatty foods.

Therefore maintaining a good sleep schedule is vital. The first step to sleeping well is getting the environment right. The ideal conditions are cool temperature, low light, and minimal sound. Reading a book or meditating is a great way to wind down for bed.

Cut Down on Television Time

A sedentary lifestyle increases your chances of being obese. It is even worse for seniors; they do not have anywhere to rush to. Therefore, geriatrics can spend hours on a chair watching television shows. As harmless as this may seem, it may lead to obesity.

Seniors should not be seated for more than an hour. Break down their television time into multiple hours distributed during the day. Also, encourage them to be mindful of their lifestyle habits.

Conclusion

The number of overweight and obese people is on the rise and almost half the population is obese. There are multiple ways to reduce and even prevent obesity among older adults. Regular exercise, ample sleep, and healthy eating habits go a long way in preventing obesity among seniors.

Encourage seniors to get off the couch and go for walks. It is beneficial to their health. Also, communicate the benefits of a healthy lifestyle to seniors.  Old age deserves to be treated with grace and it can benefit from a range of mental and physical activities that propel the elderly in the right direction.  Being fit and active ensures that you enjoy this phase of life with ease and a lot of happiness

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