6 Potential Reasons for an Aging Parent’s Rapid Weight Loss
By Gary Hightower 9 am on
Adults of all ages commonly lose and gain weight throughout their lives. However, statistics indicate up to 20 percent of seniors experience a dramatic weight loss over a short time. A variety of health issues could cause this problem. Determining and treating the underlying cause are necessary to restore the senior’s health.
1. Oral Problems
Older adults may lose a significant amount of weight due to trying to subsist on a substandard diet. If your senior loved one has a broken or abscessed tooth, ill-fitting dentures, or another oral problem, his or her food consumption may change to minimize the pain. When chewing becomes uncomfortable, your loved one may resort to consuming low-calorie soft foods, which leads to weight loss. If an oral problem is the cause, your loved one needs to visit a dentist as soon as possible. Annual dental exams enable early detection and treatment.
2. Decreased Physical Health
A physical injury, arthritis, or the progression of a medical condition may inhibit a senior’s ability to prepare healthy meals. Your loved one must be seen by a healthcare practitioner for evaluation to receive proper treatment and medication alterations. In the meantime, you may opt to prepare meals for your loved one or enlist the aid of a local meal delivery service. There are a variety of age-related health conditions that can make it more challenging for seniors to live independently. However, many of the challenges they face can be easier to address if their families opt for professional homecare services. You can rely on expertly trained caregivers to keep your loved one safe and comfortable while aging in place.
3. Cognitive Decline
A senior with advancing dementia may not remember the last time he or she had a meal. Your loved one may no longer feel hungry or comprehend the feeling of hunger. He or she may have also lost the cognitive ability needed to prepare meals. In these cases, your loved one needs evaluation by a physician. Your parent may need the ongoing assistance of family members or professional caregivers to remain at home safely.
Statistics estimate more than seven million people live with diabetes and haven’t been diagnosed or treated. Along with increased thirst and the need to urinate more frequently, symptoms of diabetes also include dramatic weight loss. Evaluation by a physician is necessary to receive the appropriate treatment and dietary recommendations.
5. Gastrointestinal Disorders
Crohn’s disease, diverticulitis, and cancer are some of the many disorders that affect the gastrointestinal system. After consuming a meal, seniors may experience bloating and extreme pain, causing them to reduce their caloric intake to avoid discomfort. Disease flare-ups may require alterations in treatment. Unknown causes require evaluation, treatment, and dietary recommendations.If you discover your loved one’s weight loss is the result of a disease or chronic health issue, he or she can continue to remain in the comfort of home with the help of a caregiver. Living with serious health conditions can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Arlington seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.
Statistics suggest more than 970,000 older adults have an alcohol abuse problem. Once addicted, the main priority of the affected senior remains consuming the next drink. Senior alcoholics no longer have an interest in food. Thus, they lose weight. Chronic alcohol abusers may eventually experience systemic damage caused by excessive alcohol consumption, which leads to weight loss. Identifying the problem and encouraging rehabilitation are necessary to regain health. No matter what is causing the weight loss, it may be a good time to look into hiring a professional caregiver to help your loved one stay as healthy as possible while aging in place. In Arlington, at-home care agenciescan be a great boon to seniors. With the help of the caregivers at Home Care Assistance, your aging loved one can lead a happier and healthier life. We offer a revolutionary program called the Balanced Care Method, which encourages seniors to eat nutritious foods, exercise and socialize regularly, and focus on other lifestyle factors that increase life expectancy. To learn about our high-quality in-home care services, give us a call at (817) 591-1580 today.