It is normal for a senior aging 65 and above to lose weight. What is not normal is that if they lose 5 to 10% of their body weight in just 1 to 12 months. In that case, you need to be concerned.
Once you noticed that there is a big difference in your loved one’s weight and appearance, take immediate action. It is important that we detect the issue earlier in order to help with the diagnoses and management of their illnesses.
As your senior’s family caregiver, what can you do to help?
- Be attentive
Other than noticing a drastic decrease of your parent’s body weight, you need to be observant and look for changes in their well-being. Was there a change in their diet or eating habits? What was unusual about their day? Were they more forgetful than usual? Is there a change in their behavior?
- Take note of the changes
As a provider of Home Care Services in Brockton, MA, we cannot express the importance of taking notes. When you begin noticing some changes, write these changes down. Take note of everything including the details. This will be greatly helpful once you get medical help.
- Monitor their weight
In order to have future references when consulting your family member’s doctor, you need to monitor their weight. When nurses deliver skilled nursing services, they typically weigh their patient once a month. You should also do the same so the physician will not have any trouble diagnosing your loved one.
- Adjust their diet
Your parent’s diet may have been the cause of their weight loss. Get to the root of the problem by consulting the experts. Once you find out what is causing the problem, ask the physician what you can do to help your aging parent receive his or her needed nutrition.
- Show your interest
According to a research (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3050948/), unintentional weight loss among the elderly can be traced into 3 main categories: physiological factor, psychological factor, and social factor.
Psychological factor includes depression and bereavement. Aging may have been hard on your parent’s emotions. He or she may have given into depression because of an event in their life, a sudden loss of a loved one, or a disturbing thought in their head. That is why you need to contact their physician right away.
If you do suspect your loved one has depression and he or she was indeed diagnosed with it, you need to start taking interest in their life and well-being to have a positive effect.
There are many reasons why an elderly individual suddenly lose weight. Consult their physician to create a care plan and enjoy health care services in MA. Mass Care Services, Inc. provides such service in a home setting. Do not hesitate to call us to aid you in caring for your aging parent.