Recently in the care home I reside in, an elderly patient became concerned about her weight gain. As a new patient to the care home she had undergone relevant tests and her weight and height were recorded. Her BMI was calculated at 27 which is above the healthy number of between 18 and 25 and she was classed as obese. As I observed these tests, I saw how the patient was feeling and was empathetic towards her. The patient became quite upset at this realisation and had asked if we as staff could assist her in losing weight.
I helped to promote her in losing weight and gathered the appropriate information about losing weight and informed her about the different ways in which she could reach her ideal BMI of 24. After discussing with my mentor we decided that referral to a dietician would be beneficial for the patient as they could implement a certain diet or exercise regime for her in assisting her weight loss. When an appointment with the dietician was arranged, I attended the appointment with her and helped her in understanding the areas which needed attention.
The dietician stated the effects of being overweight and the patient became rather upset. On listening to the professional explain about lack of exercise playing a major role in certain chronic conditions the patient told me that she wanted to become fit and healthy to prevent these. This was almost a revelation for the patient and I as this would hopefully make her want to become healthier than before. After this breakthrough in the patient’s mind-set and after a discussion with the staff nurse – who, in the beginning was less enthusiastic about bringing someone in as she felt it would be a wasted effort from me and would not be beneficial.
Although despite the staff nurses’ concern, I sought about arranging for a zumba instructor to come in and help any residents that wanted and were able to join in and lose some weight so that the patient felt less alone in her situation. We also spoke to the patient about giving her lower calorie, healthy meals to assist her further in reaching her ideal BMI. As the patient was very helpful and eager, I felt relieved and proud to see her more happier and healthier.
At the time when the patient first spoke to me about losing weight I felt positive and had to keep her positive also to help promote the weight loss which she desired and it paid off for her as she began to feel healthier and was even beginning to lose weight quite quickly even in the early stages. I was glad that the staff nurse had doubted me because it made me more eager to help this patient. After regular check-up appointments from the dietician and many fitness classes and healthy low calorie meals, the patient was nearing her ideal BMI. She spoke to me about it and was so thankful to me for helping her in helping herself.
She stated to me that she was not impressed with the meals but she knew that they were in important role in the plan of her weight loss, she also gave feedback on the zumba classes and exclaimed how happy she was that I organised this because she had met multiple friends through it as she was a newcomer to the home. I explained that it was not just me that organised everything and my mentor and staff nurse held just as much responsibility as me, although I felt closer to the patient because she was so grateful towards me in particular, and I was so pleased that everything paid off for her.
If I was to have another patient be worried about their weight I would do the exact same thing again as I feel my actions benefited the patient I dealt with enormously. Perhaps I could have made sure the meals were healthier and tastier in the beginning rather than hearing negative feedback from the resident. However overall, I was thrilled with the outcome, as the patient is now at a BMI of 25 and still keeping up the exercise and diet hoping to achieve her goal of 24.