Dr Stephen Tomkins, a dedicated GP working for Encore’s Fairmile Grange, explains the importance of the elderly retaining their weight this January.
The start of a new year brings the expectation that everyone should feel motivated to make some major lifestyle changes by improving their diet and making time to exercise more, with the goal to lose weight. However, Dr Stephen Tomkins, a dedicated GP working for Encore Care Homes’ Fairmile Grange, explains how it has been shown that a dramatic change in diet can be extremely risky for the elderly to undertake. He added that it can cause more health implications, which will outweigh any benefit.
“At Encore we promote the need for our residents to enjoy a healthy balanced diet all year round and our in-house catering team uses fresh, locally sourced ingredients in its nutrition-rich meals on a daily basis. Many of us want to shed a few pounds after the Christmas period, however, weight loss in the elderly is most often not intentional and could suggest that there is an underlying health issue, which we would look into.
“As we age, malnutrition is very common amongst those aged 65 and over. This is for a number of reasons; from bereavement and loneliness causing a loss of appetite, to the elderly simply being unable to cook for themselves as they find preparing meals difficult and cannot stand for long periods of time. It is therefore essential that all elderly members of the community receive the personalised care that they require.”
Dr Stephen added: “It is a frequent mistake to assume that weight loss is only related to being healthy. At Encore we focus on boosting our residents’ health and wellbeing through nutritional meals and an extensive list of activities, which supports socialisation and stimulation. Regular exercise such as walking can help maintain cardiovascular fitness and build up lean muscle mass, it certainly should be encouraged. In an older group of people weight loss is more likely to be attributed to dietary changes or underlying medical problems rather than to an increase in exercise. Our residents receive regular check-ups to ensure that they are retaining weight and if this is not the case we would make further investigations into the reasons why.”
Encore Care Homes specialises in modern, purpose-built, private care homes in the South of England, which provide residential, nursing and dementia care. Encore manages Great Oaks in Bournemouth. The 80-bed care home is fitted with state-of-the-art facilities, which are designed to enable staff to provide the highest standard of twenty-four hour, personalised care and ensure residents are comfortable and happy in their surroundings.
For more information please visit www.greatoaksbournemouth.co.uk or call 01202 087444 to speak to a member of the team.