How to Stop Your Senior Loved One from Eating Too Much

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Obesity and overeating are major health risks for people of all ages. However, they may be even more of a health risk for seniors who have preexisting medical conditions. Here are some ways to stop your senior loved one from eating too much. 

 

Provide Satisfying Foods

Offer your loved one foods that are filling, such as legumes and lean sources of protein. These foods can keep your loved one fuller longer, and they can also stabilize blood sugar levels. When blood sugar is either too high or too low, your loved one may experience extreme hunger, causing him or her to eat too much. In addition to providing filling foods, make sure your loved one drinks plenty of water throughout the day to maintain a feeling of fullness so he or she isn’t tempted to overeat.

A trained caregiver can be a fantastic source of information about nutrition for your loved one. Aging in place can present a few unique challenges for older adults. Some only require part-time assistance with exercise or meal preparation, while others are living with serious illnesses and benefit more significantly from receiving live-in care. Reston, VA, Assisting Hands Home Care are leaders in the elderly in-home care industry for good reason. We tailor our care plans based on each senior’s individual needs, our caregivers continue to receive updated training in senior care as new developments arise, and we also offer comprehensive care for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and Parkinson’s.

 

Encourage Exercise

While many people believe exercising increases the appetite and thus leads to overeating, exercising more can actually dampen the appetite. If your loved one leads a sedentary lifestyle and eats too much, encourage him or her to start exercising to burn excess calories and blunt the appetite for a few hours afterward. While exercise provides health benefits for just about everyone, before encouraging your loved one to start a new exercise program, talk to the doctor to make sure it’s safe and healthy to do so. 

Home 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.

 

Monitor for Depression

Certain mood disorders may lead to eating too much. If your loved one appears sad, sleeps too little or too much, or cries frequently, see a physician. The doctor will examine your loved one and, if warranted, refer him or her to a mental health professional for further evaluation and treatment. 

Once depression has been identified and treated effectively, your loved one may not eat as much. However, certain medications used in the treatment of depression and anxiety may increase the appetite, leading to overeating. If your loved one eats too much because of medications, set up an appointment with a nutritionist, who can help your loved one make healthy food choices. 

 

Encourage Taking Up a Hobby

Sometimes seniors overeat out of boredom or loneliness. If your loved one doesn’t have a spouse, friends, or family who live close by, suggest getting a hobby. A hobby may be an effective diversion from eating too much and can even brighten your loved one’s mood. 

Age-appropriate hobbies for seniors include knitting, crocheting, painting, and cooking. If your loved one doesn’t have mobility limitations and is able to leave the house, hobbies such as bird-watching, photography, and hiking can prevent frequent thoughts of food from entering the mind. 

Professional caregivers with training in nutrition and healthy habits can be a wonderful source of information and encouragement for seniors who need help eating less. Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of home care service. Reston families can rely on Assisting Hands Home Care to provide individualized care plans to meet their elderly loved ones’ unique care needs. Our caregivers help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and we offer mentally stimulating activities that can boost cognitive health and delay the onset of dementia. Trust your loved one’s care to the professionals at Assisting Hands Home Care. To create a customized home care plan for your loved one, call us today.