A Future at Home Blog

Maintaining Weight as we Age

Graphic of older man and woman waving

Realising that My Dad was losing weight in his mid 80s lead to a rare enjoyable conversation about the changes we need to make when we get older. One where ‘a little bit of what you fancy’ was the welcome outcome…

older man laughs sitting with pink cake


I spent the weekend with my parents (86 & 87 respectively) and I noticed that my dad had lost a lot of weight. It had crept up on me over the years, but as soon as I noticed it, it was so obvious that I couldn’t believe it had taken so long to see.

What he eats is super-healthy, low calorie and well balanced: a result of my mum’s wonderful long-term commitment to keeping him trim and fit.

Generally speaking, one’s weight is the highest around the age of 60, with decreases of around half a pound every year after age 70. So gradual weight loss is expected, but we shouldn’t disregard a significant, noticeable drop in weight as part of the natural aging process.

Loss of weight, and the loss of strength that comes with it, can lead to a higher risk of falls.

I realised that he needed to put on weight and suggested to mum adding some high calorie items. After the initial worry that she had been ‘doing the wrong thing’ in restricting his love of sweats and deserts, she was excited to be able to ‘let him off the leash’ a little.

In turn, he was delighted at realising that, not only could he have more of the things he loved, but that it would actually be good for him.

In the constant, mostly painful, conversation about what changes and compromises need to happen as we age, this was a rare, enjoyable, adaptation that was easy to discuss and implement.

We all had cake and felt good about it.