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Understanding weight loss in older individuals

Understanding weight loss in older individuals

Weight loss in the older population is a common issue. As functions in the body begin to slow down – alongside activity levels – appetite also decreases. This, of course, is a simplistic explanation of why some of the aging individuals in our lives may look skinnier and skinnier as years pass.

To truly understand weight loss later in life, however Livestrong.com, a website dedicated to healthy living, laid out the changes that take place in the body from a medical standpoint. As most know, the human body is composed primarily of bone tissue, lean muscle and organ tissue, fat tissue, blood and water.

“As you age, the distribution of these materials changes in relation to the importance of body function,” Livestron.com reported. “Lean muscle tissue and bon

e mass begin to atrophy due to malnutrition, inactivity and the onset of disease. Muscle mass typically decreases and turns into fat, which is lighter in weight than muscle.”

Surprisingly, a fair amount of weight loss is considered normal. The actual decrease in pounds isn’t always attributed to a loss in body fat. After age 70, some of that weight loss is due to a decrease in bone density, as well.

To ensure that weight loss is maintained at a healthy level, Livestrong.com recommends that older individuals keep up an active lifestyle, which includes cardiovascular exercise, resistance training and healthy eating. And Freedom Home Care supports those suggestions and, in fact, the caregivers here can support patients with suggestions to help achieve their weight goals. So be sure to ask your caregiver or your aging loved one’s caregiver to get started – if you haven’t already.

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