How Unnecessary Weight Loss Affects Elderly

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The Impact of Excessive Weight Loss of Seniors in Columbus, OH

Weight fluctuations can occur throughout the senior years as a person experiences changes in their diet and health. Digestive disorders, medication side effects, and a lack of interest in eating are just a few common reasons why seniors have trouble maintaining their weight. While it may be easy to simply write these changes off as a normal part of aging, it is important for seniors and their hourly or live-in caregivers in Columbus to understand the very serious effects that can occur from sudden weight loss.

Increased Risk for Illness and Injury

An unplanned drop in a senior’s weight can often signal a nutritional deficiency, either due to an inability of the body to absorb enough nutrients or because a senior is not eating a well-rounded diet. Nutritional deficiencies can increase a senior’s risk of becoming ill or injured and lead to muscle weakness, fatigue, and constipation.

Altered Reactions to Medications

Doctors must take into account a senior’s weight and height when prescribing many medications. Drastic changes in a senior’s weight can alter how his or her body reacts to these medications. This can lead to a senior overdosing on certain medications or experiencing more severe side effects that could lead to further health problems.

Changes to Mental Wellbeing

Nutrition plays a critical role in a senior’s mental health and cognition. Vitamin deficiencies can lead to feelings of depression, anxiety, and confusion, sometimes so severely the symptoms are mistaken for dementia. Seniors who struggle with memory loss may also experience more severe lapses following a major change in their weight.

When a senior experiences unplanned weight loss, it is important to identify the underlying reason for the change. Often, simple strategies such as preparing flavorful meals and dining together can boost a senior’s interest in eating and help prevent unplanned weight loss.

If you’re concerned about your loved one’s diet and overall health, Columbus Home Care Assistance can help. Our trained and compassionate caregivers are available on an hourly or live-in basis and can grocery shop, prepare healthy meals, and ensure your loved one is eating regular meals throughout the day. To learn more, give us a call at (614) 481-8888 and request a complimentary in-home consultation.

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