6 Healthy Ways for Older Adults to Gain Weight

After years of trying to maintain a healthy weight, it can feel strange to suddenly be worried about losing too many pounds. Weight loss in seniors can have many causes, and it’s important to be concerned if your aging loved one loses around four to five percent of his or her weight within a year without trying. These six options are all effective for helping your loved one gain weight without resorting to unhealthy methods. 

1. Exercise More

It may seem counterproductive to burn more calories right now, but getting active could increase your loved one’s appetite. People who are mostly sedentary tend to feel less hungry. Help your loved one get moving throughout the day. You can also schedule workouts for about an hour before meals to stimulate his or her appetite.  Seniors who want to remain healthy as they age can benefit in a variety of ways when they receive professional care at a respite home. Edmonton families can rely on Butterfly Dreams Respite Care. We are here to help your loved one accomplish daily tasks, prevent illness, and focus on living a healthier and more fulfilling life.

2. Choose High-Calorie Foods

High-calorie foods can also be healthy. Swap out chips and other low-nutrient foods for ones that can have a positive impact on your loved one’s health. For instance, full-fat cheese is high in calories, but it also provides important nutrients. 

3. Increase Protein Intake

As you select calorie-dense foods, you can also look for ones that are high in protein. A diet that has enough protein helps the body build and maintain muscle mass, which has an impact on weight. Once again, go with full-fat versions of yogurt, nut butters, and cheeses, which all provide plenty of protein. 

4. Make Meals Enjoyable Again

Seniors sometimes drop weight when they begin to stop eating regularly. This can happen for a variety of reasons, which might include simply losing interest in eating alone. Your loved one might also find it difficult to prepare healthy meals multiple times a day, and this could cause him or her to skip eating or snack on unhealthy items in the evening. Find out if your loved one is just tired of cooking or eating alone. If so, this is easy to fix. You or a caregiver can eat with your loved one and turn food prep into a social activity.  Family caregivers also need to pay attention to their own health, and that involves taking time to nurture their own wellbeing. Caring for a senior loved one can be rewarding, but it can also be overwhelming for family caregivers who have other responsibilities they need to focus on. For these families, the perfect solution is respite care. Edmonton, AB, families rely on our caregivers whenever they need time to rest, work, run errands, and even go on vacation. 

5. Treat Health Conditions that Affect Appetite

There are many different health issues that could cause someone to stop eating well. Digestive issues are an obvious culprit, but your loved one could also be depressed or anxious. Some people with heart health issues also lose their appetite. Take your loved one to the doctor to explore potential physical causes for the weight loss, and implement any new treatment strategies in his or her care plan. 

6. Play with Flavours

Gaining weight is easier when seniors vary their food options. Encourage your loved one to eat by using bold flavours in his or her meals. Your loved one may enjoy having some garlic added to an omelette or cinnamon sprinkled into yogurt. Keeping things flavourful and interesting can help your loved one look forward to trying to increase his or her weight.  Maintaining a healthy weight is vital for senior health, and it’s especially important for aging adults to get the right amount of essential nutrients to stave off the effects of aging and prevent certain conditions. Nutrition is only one of many areas of focus for seniors who want to stay healthy, and some may need a bit of assistance. In Edmonton, respite home caregivers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Butterfly Dreams Respite Care are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To learn about our high-quality respite care services, give us a call at 587-800-4822 today.