Health Week

Unintentional Weight Loss in Aging Parents

Worried elderly woman

Losing weight without trying, especially in older people, can be worrisome. This is because it could signal declining health, which can pave the way for the development of other physical and mental health conditions. If you notice an unintentional weight loss in an elderly loved one, it is important to figure out why they are losing weight, which could be associated with a number of factors.

Senior home health care services in Westerville share some factors related to unintentional weight loss:

Social or Financial Concerns

If your aging parents cannot drive to the grocery or are having financial difficulties in buying food, weight changes could be an issue.

Lack of Energy or Mobility Issues

Losing weight without dieting can also happen if your loved one experiences difficulty in finding the energy to prepare meals, read food labels, or gather cooking tools and appliances.

Serious Health Conditions

There are also cases where weight loss could be due to underlying health conditions like depression, dementia, or malnutrition. Other conditions that may play a part include depression, diabetes, peptic ulcer, cancer, celiac disease, dental problems, etc.

Loss of Taste and Smell

Aging adults may not want to eat if the food doesn’t taste or smell as they remembered it.

These are just a few of the associated factors. It is still best to work with a doctor or any other healthcare professional to find out the real cause for your loved one’s weight loss. They may do evaluations and testing, and recommend a certain diet to help your loved one regain lost pounds and prevent malnutrition or further weight loss. Keep in mind that even a smaller amount of weight loss may be an issue.

If your aging parent has some additional weight to spare, weight loss can be beneficial. If it’s the other way around, however, it is important to assist your loved one to keep this from happening. Start with a visit to the doctor for helpful tips and recommendations. You can also hire an in-home healthcare aide to assist your loved one in daily activities, including meal preparation.

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