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Healthy Ways to Increase Your Senior Loved One’s Weight

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Your senior loved one may be experiencing weight loss for different reasons such a loss of appetite due to medications or an illness. Regardless of why he or she is losing weight, you’ll want to figure out some healthy methods to help him or her return to an ideal weight. The staff at Home Care Assistance, a provider of senior home care Naples families trust, have some tips to help you increase your loved one’s weight in a healthy way.

More Frequent Meals

Your loved one will need to eat frequently if he or she wants to gain weight. You should aim for 5 or 6 meals a day. Be sure these are small meals instead of large serving sizes. In addition to a healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner, your loved one should eat high-energy snacks in between meals. Some examples of healthy snacks that could help your loved one increase his or her weight are:

• Cheese and crackers

• Granola 

• Ready-to-eat cereal and milk 

• Nut butter on fruit 

• Smoothies 

Exercise 

While you may think exercise is for losing weight, it can actually be a healthy way for seniors to gain weight as well. Exercise can help the elderly build lean muscle mass and increase their appetites. Although any type of exercise is good, your loved one should try strength training exercises to build muscles, which could lead to weight gain. However, it is a good idea to check with your loved one’s doctor before starting a regular exercise routine. 

Nutrient-Dense Foods 

To help your loved one increase his or her weight, you should have him or her eat foods that are high in fats and calories. Stay away from fast foods or processed meats, as these are not healthy foods. Instead, include lean proteins, low and nonfat dairy products, whole grains, nuts, vegetables, and fruits in your loved one’s meals throughout the day. 

Adding Calories through Drinks 

Though your loved one should definitely drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, there are other beverages he or she can drink to increase weight. However, you may not want your loved one to consume calorie-dense meals and these beverages together, as they could cause him or her to fill up too quickly. 

Some of the beverages your loved one can drink to increase his or her weight in a healthy way include:

• Smoothies 

• Juice 

• Nonfat or low-fat milk

Figuring out the best ways to keep your loved one at a healthy weight can be difficult, but finding professional assistance that can help him or her maintain healthy habits doesn’t have to be. At Home Care Assistance, our caregivers can help your loved one with exercise, nutritious meal preparation, grocery shopping, and a wide variety of other daily tasks. We also offer specialized Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and stroke care in Naples. For more information on our senior care services, call one of our qualified Care Managers at (239) 449-4701 to schedule a free in-home consultation.