Involuntary weight loss is a concern in the senior years since it can be a warning sign of many different physical and mental health conditions. It can be alarming to discover your senior loved one has lost a significant amount of weight in a short time. When you notice your loved one looks thinner than normal, use these strategies to address the underlying issues so he or she can remain in good health.
1. Check for Underlying Physical Causes
The first step toward addressing involuntary weight loss is to schedule an appointment with your loved one’s physician. During this visit, the physician can check for treatable causes of weight loss, such as thyroid imbalances or diabetes. In some cases, the physician may recommend dietary or lifestyle changes to help your loved one retain weight.
Checking for underlying physical causes of involuntary weight loss is the first step toward boosting a senior’s health and wellbeing. Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional home care. Green Valley, Arizona, 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.
2. Observe Eating Habits
By watching your loved one eat a few meals, you might be able to understand why he or she is losing weight. Observe if your loved one seems to be in pain, as this could be a sign of dental issues such as loose dentures. As you eat together, you can also talk to your loved one about eating habits since he or she may be skipping meals out of the fear of choking or some other issue.
3. Begin Tracking Weight
Once a senior experiences involuntary weight loss, it becomes important to continue to monitor his or her health for changes. Plan to check your loved one’s weight each week at first until it stops dropping. Then, monitor your loved one’s weight each month, and report any significant changes to his or her physician.
4. Assist with Meal Planning
Seniors who need to gain weight often face additional challenges such as adhering to low-fat diets or avoiding ingredients such as salt. Consider hiring a professional caregiver to ensure your loved one receives nutritional support and help with meal planning. This way, your loved one can continue to eat a healthy diet while also receiving the nutrition his or her body needs to support better weight management.
Meal planning is one of many basic tasks seniors may need help with. Whether your elderly loved one needs part-time assistance with basic household chores or you need a break from your caregiving duties, the Green Valley respite care experts at Home Care Assistance are here to help. All of our respite care services are backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, there are no hidden fees in our contracts, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts.
5. Address Social and Emotional Concerns
Seniors sometimes lose weight if they are experiencing emotional health issues such as depression or anxiety. For instance, your loved one may stop eating regularly when he or she is feeling grief. Seniors with dementia may also feel afraid to eat if they are worried something is wrong with their food, and they may also forget to eat entirely. Addressing social and emotional concerns may require arranging for a professional caregiver to help your aging loved one stave off loneliness.
Involuntary weight loss often indicates the onset of a serious medical condition. Living with a serious health condition can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Green Valley seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more. To hire a professionally trained in-home care expert for your elderly loved one, call Home Care Assistance at 520-625-2050 today.