Unintentional Weight Loss In Seniors
Unintentional weight loss is common in seniors 65 years or older who live at home. This is considered a 5% decrease in body weight between six to 12 months. Weight loss can steam from physical, psychological or social conditions. While this is common, in no way should this be taken lightly. This can impact daily activity, an increase in hospital visits, and an over mortality in seniors. In order to proper treat, you must find the underlying cause of this weight loss.
- Social factor: As we age, we may become less activity than we once were. Isolation, financial struggles, or barriers to getting food can play into unintentional weight loss. Arranging a family member to check in weekly or daily would be a good idea to consider.
- Medication use: Some medication can cause loss of appetite or nausea, which would affect one’s diet. Make sure to bring this up to your doctor as they may be able to change your medication or prescribe anti-nausea medications.
- Health issue: If weight loss continues after changing diet or medications, check with your doctor about this issue. Further test may need to take place to see what is the cause.
Another factor to consider when it comes to unintentional weight loss may not be physical, but mental. Again, as we age, we take to physically slow down. We lose muscle mass and getting around isn’t as easy as it was when we were younger. Some will have a harder time accepting these changes that can lead to depression. In a depressive state, a person will stop taking care of their overall being. If you see this lack in yourself or a loved one, please reach out to them and a doctor.
Weight loss in seniors is common and while there isn’t always a need to panic, it should not be overlooked. It might be as simple as making a daily diet change or taking additional supplements. However, if signs are pointing to a bigger health issue, waiting it out is not the answer. Make sure to put your overall being first, ask for help when needed, or know when to step in.