Seniors who are obese face shortened life spans due to an increased risk of serious health conditions. Physicians may tell seniors they’re obese if their weight exceeds a certain limit or their body fat ratio is excessive. While no one likes to hear they’re obese, it can be a wakeup call that gets your senior loved one motivated to use these six tips for managing obesity.
1. Give Specific and Positive Reasons to Lose Weight
Your loved one already knows he or she is obese. Now, you need to help him or her avoid feeling ashamed. Instead of using scare tactics, such as saying you’re afraid of your loved one having a heart attack or another stroke, rephrase your statements. For instance, you can say you want your loved one to be able to see the next grandchild be born or celebrate his or her golden wedding anniversary.
2. Focus on the Fun Side of Exercise
A senior who is obese may dread the idea of having to exercise, since it can be painful or even embarrassing. Help your loved one overcome the hesitancy by reminding him or her that exercise can be fun. For instance, going for a walk is a great time to talk to a friend or family member. Your loved one may also enjoy getting to socialize with other older adults in a senior workout class.
Even if seniors have mobility issues or health challenges, they can still exercise, especially with the help of a trained professional caregiver. Fort Myers elder care professionals can be a wonderful boon to seniors. Whether they require around-the-clock supervision or just need assistance with exercise and household tasks a few days a week, seniors can enjoy a higher quality of life with the help of trusted in-home caregivers.
3. Experiment with Different Workouts
It can take some time for seniors who are obese to find a workout that fits their current abilities and interests. Try offering several different options. For example, your loved one could do modified yoga one day and chair exercises the next. As a general rule, just moving more every day helps seniors manage their obesity. On days when your loved one doesn’t want to work out, suggest doing something simple, such as gardening or dancing to a song, to increase physical activity.
4. Find New Healthy Recipes Together
Tackling obesity works best when exercise is combined with a healthy diet plan. However, many seniors find eating healthy to be one of the most challenging parts of losing weight. Make eating healthier fun by offering to help your loved one experiment with new recipes. Trying out a vegetarian meal or swapping out unhealthy ingredients for better options feels more like an adventure when working with a partner.
If you’re a family caregiver who finds it challenging to have the time to plan and prepare healthy meals, consider hiring a professional caregiver for an hour or two a day or a few days a month. Some seniors need occasional assistance at home, and oftentimes the family members who take care of them need time away to run errands, take a nap, go to work, or take a vacation. Fort Myers respite care experts from Home Care Assistance are available on an as-needed basis, giving your family peace of mind that your loved one will remain safe and comfortable while you relax or focus on other important responsibilities.
5. Set Up a Goal-and-Reward System
Once seniors are considered obese, they typically have many pounds to lose before they hit a healthy weight. This process can seem long and arduous without seeing instant improvement. Set up a goal-and-reward system that does more than monitor pounds. For instance, your loved one may get a new pair of walking shoes if he or she hits the goal of walking a certain number of minutes each week.
6. Provide Consistent Feedback
Your loved one relies on you for emotional support. As your loved one makes progress, let him or her know you see the results. Try to make some of these comments less focused on appearance. Telling your loved one that you enjoy walking together in the evenings or seeing him or her have more energy is excellent motivation for continuing with exercise and diet plans.
Many seniors who find it challenging to manage their weight on their own find that a professional caregiver can provide the reinforcement and direction they need to make lasting lifestyle changes. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of elderly home care. Fort Myers families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. Schedule a free in-home consultation by giving us a call today at 239.449.4701.