Almost nobody thinks losing weight is easy, but it can be particularly challenging for elders, who may not have the strength, vitality and "oomph" of days gone by. Still, being overweight is a serious health risk for the elderly, including adding a painful burden to aging joints, with or without arthritis. If your mom or dad needs to lose a few pounds, they likely need your help to do it.
1. Take Them Grocery Shopping
Many seniors, especially those who live alone, aren't focused enough on their changing nutritional needs, with some even neglecting them entirely. Eating what's easy to make or even cheap, means sacrificing the decent meals that provide an elder with the calcium, vitamins, fiber and healthy fats (polyunsaturated and monounsaturated) they need to stay strong and resilient. Go shopping together and encourage them to make better choices, but make the activity fun and social, too.
2. Exercise With Them
Whether or not you need to lose any weight or tone-up, you'll definitely benefit from a few extra walks per week, plus get to spend some real quality time with your parent. After lunch or dinner and on the weekends, you could walk a trail (appropriate to your mom or dad's physical abilities), a nearby beach or the city neighborhood. Mix up the routine with golf or swimming, if possible, and you won't even realize you're exercising. If your mom or dad takes enough extra steps per day, they might also improve their cardiovascular health, a topic you should cover with their physician.
3. Sign Them Up At A Weight Loss Clinic
Weight loss clinics offer a variety of strategies to help people manage weight, including customizing programs to individuals, which could be very helpful with your elderly parent. With their age, possible health conditions and physical state, a specialized criteria of nutrition, calorie-counting, and exercise, tailored specifically to them, they should start shedding the extra pounds.
Clinics also provide solid data for a client to see their progress and analyze the effectiveness of different weight loss methods. A weight loss center comes with the added perks of getting out and meeting new people, which may be a very positive influence on your mom or dad. They'll be assigned a personal consultant, whom they can get to know, trust and hopefully, succeed with.
Helping your mom or dad lose weight will benefit you both, because you're going to feel good about what you've accomplished, along with knowing you've improved their health. Work together, be persistent and involve whatever healthcare professionals are needed to ensure the program your parent sticks to is practical and beneficial.