Rapid and sudden weight loss can be a worrying sign- it could indicate a serious health problem that needs attention immediately. Sudden weight loss is characterized by rapid, unexplained, and unintentional weight loss in an older adult. While some of the weight loss can be considered normal and a part of aging due to shrinking muscle mass, it is important to seek medical attention if you or your loved one has shed a substantial amount of weight in a short amount of time. A rough rule of thumb is dropping 5 percent of body weight in just one month, or 10 percent over a six-month period. Here at our senior living community, we take note of our residents’ health and will not hesitate to seek medical attention from professionals immediately when such things happen.
Health Consequences for Sudden Weight Loss
There are a few health repercussions of sudden weight loss in the elderly. This includes the gradual loss of ability to take part in simple daily tasks, like dressing, grooming, and bathing. It can also cause them to feel extra tired and fatigued, and raise the probability of them falling and injuring themselves. Over time, it can result in mood disorders and the deterioration of the cognitive function.
Why Do Some Seniors Experience Sudden Weight Loss?
There could be a variety of reasons for sudden weight loss in the elderly. Often, it is due to an underlying medical condition. This includes cancer, which can affect the appetite and weight of one. It could also be due to gastrointestinal issues or depression, which can lead to appetite loss. Other health conditions include hyperthyroidism which can accelerate the metabolism of the body, as well as dementia which can result in a change in eating habits.
A person’s eating habits may also be affected by other factors, including isolation, alcoholism, financial constraints, limited mobility, side effects of medication consumption, dental issues, insufficient caregiving, and more.
Do Older Adults Shed Weight Naturally?
Older adults lose weight naturally, but not in a drastic and unexpected way. As people age, it is perfectly normal for the amount of fat, muscles, and water in the body to change. All these contribute to the overall total body weight. A significant and noticeable drop in weight should be examined carefully and should never be ignored.
The Importance of Tracking Weight Loss in Seniors
The most important thing when it comes to health is early detection and action. Once you discover sudden weight loss in a loved one, you should take them for an examination to find out the root cause of the weight loss, and rule out other potential causes.
At Conservatory At Alden Bridge, our residents are our top priority and our team of dedicated staff is always paying attention to ensure that our residents are in top shape. If we discover that our residents have sudden weight loss or other health issues, we will bring them to see a health professional to ensure everything is fine. Feel free to contact us to find out more about what we have to offer today!