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Exercise and Fitness

Obesity in Older Adults

12/30/2002

Question:

I`m a licensed social worker and council older adults and family members in their homes. I have a client who is fairly young (early 60`s) who has been struggling with clinical obesity since she was ten. While we work on the behavioral and lifestyle changes, I am seeking advice on the best resource for her to assist in her becoming more active and losing weight. Her husband and her have discussed her having surgery, however, I believe that there may be other options to consider before resorting to such a serious procedure. She is recommended to consult with her doctor before beginning any programs as she has medical problems resulting from her excessive weight. Keep in mind that they are on a fixed income. Any advice would be welcomed. Thank you.

Answer:

To best answer this question, I would need some initial information regarding this individual. For instance, what is the extent of her medical conditions including any orthopaedic problems, level of obesity, history of physical activity, and access to exercise facilities? What is the rationale for surgery? Have many other options/programs been tried? What has her personal physician recommended? I look forward to hearing your response so that we may offer some recommendations for your client.

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Response by:

Carolyn   Nickol, RD, MEd Carolyn Nickol, RD, MEd
Director
Fitness Center at CARE\Crawley
University of Cincinnati