Prestige Nursing & Care is a long-established, forward-thinking provider of community homecare that supports independent living across England and Scotland. Prestige was originally a family-run business with a commitment to providing care dating back to 1945. 

We are a long-established, forward-thinking provider of community homecare that supports independent living across England and Scotland. Prestige was originally a family-run business with a commitment to providing care dating back to 1945. We deliver high-quality, personalised private homecare services through over 30 branches in England and Scotland, supported by a Head Office team based in Epsom, Surrey. We provide over 30,000 hours of care and support a week to over 2,000 clients and their families through our local teams of highly qualified and vetted registered nurses, healthcare workers, and Care Co-Ordinator’s. Our home care services range from companionship visits to 24-hour live-in home nursing care across every age group, ability, and health condition. In our last client survey in March 2022, over 90% of respondents agreed that not only, would they recommend us to a friend, but that our service has also made a positive difference to their life. We are a CQC and Care Inspectorate regulated company and hold ISO2001:2009 certification for quality.

Obesity in the Elderly

Obesity in the elderly

Obesity in the Elderly: A Growing Problem

Back in June 2014, it was reported that 75 per cent of people aged 45 to 74 are overweight. Sources quoted the National Obesity Forum (NOF) warning that many people will face issues related to their weight in old age, and that this could turn into a serious health crisis.

But the problem is not a new one. According to the BMJ, obesity was more prevalent in elderly people than in young people as far back as 2010. Quoting figures from the Office for National Statistics in 2008, over 77% of people aged 65 to 74 were overweight or obese.

While the topic of obesity and problems with being overweight are often in the news, the focus is usually on the younger population. But as these figures show, the problem affects all ages.

The risks of being overweight for the elderly

Being overweight can cause many other health problems, some of which can be life-threatening. Type 2 diabetes, cancer, stroke and coronary heart disease are some of the most serious conditions, and these can affect the elderly just as they affect overweight people of any age.

What to do if your relative is overweight

We need to start talking about the weight problem in the elderly, and one of the things that we should focus on is to remember that it is never too late to focus on reducing weight.

More emphasis is often placed on the young because they have their whole lives ahead of them, but this is the wrong way to look at it.

So what can you do?

Regular exercise is important for the older generation

Exercise is a good way to get rid of excess weight, but this can sometimes pose a problem for elderly people. Muscle wastage and other health problems may prevent elderly people from exercising as much as they would otherwise be.

That being said, there are many exercises that are suitable for elderly people, you can find them in our article on simple home exercises here.

If you are concerned that your elderly relative is overweight, you may want to encourage them to get some more exercise. This could involve something as simple as going for a regular walk around the park, or you may want your care worker to do this if you are not available.

Good nutrition is essential

Nutrition.org.uk has some very useful information on good nutrition in the elderly. Essentially, a healthy and varied diet is essential just like it is at any age, and this can help to ensure that your elderly relative maintains a healthy weight.

Importantly, it notes that energy requirements go down with age, and that elderly people may be affected by a lack of mobility, poor health, and even poor oral health that can affect their diet. Smell and taste can also change, and this can affect appetite.

In addition, elderly people should make sure they get enough Vitamin D. Our ability to synthesise Vitamin D decreases with age, so elderly people should take a supplement and eat foods rich in the vitamin, like oily fish.

Vitamin B12 absorption is also decreased, so they should make sure they get enough of this. They should also eat lots of fruit and veg, as well as bread and other fortified foods.

Visit the Doctor If You Are Concerned

If you are concerned about your elderly relative, make sure you don’t ignore the problem. You may also want to accompany your relative on a trip to their GP to find out if there are any underlying health problems that could be exacerbating their weight problem.

What does a support worker do?

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to become a support worker? Read our first-hand experiences and how to get involved in support work with Prestige Nursing & Care.

We are always looking for caring and compassionate people to join our exceptional team. If you have previous care experience, then we have a wide range of professional carer and registered nursing roles available. Learn more about the benefits of working for Prestige Nursing & Care or browse our current job vacancies.

The hidden cost of dementia care

A new report from Alzheimer’s Research UK illustrates how the condition has a huge impact on not only…

Solving the NHS funding crisis

NHS finances have been causing successive British governments headaches for decades, and those who try to reign its finances in are often left red in the face. The British public are highly supportive of the health service and, quite rightly, are aggrieved by and resistant to attempts to cut its spending.

However, the simple fact of the matter is that the NHS simply cannot continue on its current path to ruin, with figures showing that NHS hospitals are in their worst financial situation for a generation. Among the more alarming revelations, is that between April and June this year NHS trusts managed to build up a £930 million deficit – more than the whole of 2014’s £820 million overspend. While something absolutely needs to be done about this situation, the government must resist the urge to cut expensive – but necessary – frontline services. The NHS is an essential feature of British Society, and is depended upon by millions for treatments that are central to the provision of a good quality of life but it is not something that can be maintained without greater funding from government.

When it comes to cutting the NHS’s overspend, much of the government’s attention seems to have fallen unnecessarily on the cost of agency staff and it has become far too easy to focus on this as the problem. Jeremey Hunt’s proposal to ban ‘rip off’ agency fees for doctors and nurses may seem sensible on the surface, but the reality is that locum practitioners provide vital care when other professionals are unavailable. Their high costs are often the result of supply and demand. It is also disingenuous, when you consider that interim Executives are paid huge amounts in the face of squeezed budgets. One of the best examples of this has been the recent news that Medway Hospital Trust has been paying £1 million for an interim finance chief, despite being in special measures.

Instead of focusing so heavily on pay, policymakers should consider other care-based solutions and the role they could play in alleviating the financial strain on the NHS. Bringing together the health and social care system may prove a challenge in the short term but, if successfully implemented, a combined system could be much more fiscally effective while also improving patient care. Placing a greater emphasis on home care and care in the community would take some of the pressure off the NHS and reduce some of their biggest problems, such as bed-blocking. Rather than focusing on public sector vs. private sector, the debate needs to be assess best outcomes and alternative solutions.

Mobility issues in the elderly: warning signs & steps to take

As we age, it’s common to face new challenges with mobility. Mobility refers to a person’s ability to move around comfortably on their own. Unsteadiness while walking or difficulties getting in and out of beds and chairs can easily lead to dangerous slips and falls for older people. Certain medical conditions and medications can contribute to these difficulties by causing symptoms such as muscle weakness, pain and joint problems. …

Simple home exercises for older adults

If you have an older relative, they may have difficulty getting out and about to exercise, but this does not mean they cannot exercise…

NHS could collapse in just two years unless reforms are made

Health Minister Norman Lamb recently publicised alarming views on the National Health Service, stating he believes it will fail within two years without more substantial financial support provided by the government. Lamb believes the NHS is at risk and that the government fails to recognise the size of the problem. A growing elderly population squeezing services and failure to identify what this means financially means that without a multibillion-pound funding increase, the care sector could face serious consequences.

Promises from the Tories before the election included an additional £8bn for health services by 2020 on top of £2bn already pledged last year. However, Lamb remains concerned this is not enough and the government is providing insufficient funds to support the cost of required care. On top of existing financial pressures, care services and providers will be hit by the change to minimum wages and the European ruling that travel can be included as work. The new report from NICE calling for care visits to last a minimum of 30 minutes – desirable for patients and all those working in the industry – adds to these challenges and fails to account for how this would be paid for.

Among possible solutions voiced are radical ideas on funding, such as a potential NHS tax or a rise in national insurance contributions. Additionally, NHS England believes the sector faces a £30bn annual loss by 2021 unless essential changes are made in how health care is provided. One option is to keep the elderly out of the hospital until it is necessary, which could be supported by care at home; a service provided by Prestige Nursing + Care. Care at home reduces the impact of bed-blocking – a topic touched upon in a previous blog by Prestige – and provides support which can act as a preventative measure, while also helping the elderly to maintain their independence for longer.

What is clear, is that for the care sector to survive, it urgently needs extra funding from the government as well as joined-up thinking across health and social care and the NHS. Only by supporting each other and creating an overarching plan can the challenge be tackled.