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Do you know any morbidly obese elderly people?

(91 Posts)
manicinsomniac Sat 26-Sep-15 19:55:20

My mum is 60 and morbidly obese. Maybe super morbidly, I don't know. She has been hugely overweight my entire life but has got bigger over the past few years due to osteoarthritis meaning she doesn't walk much and possibly the death of my father (I don't ever notice any evidence of binge eating but I suppose she must do). She has high blood pressure but, afaik, no other health issues related to her weight.

But I'm still frightened. I can't recall ever seeing an old person who was very fat. My Dad died when I was 22 and I can't help being afraid I'll lose her relatively young too. I live a 4 hour drive away and every time she doesn't pick up the phone when I call I freak out. I haven't talked to her about it and probably won't - she must know her size and the risks and would probably feel worse about herself if I pointed it out.

Do you think this fear is unreasonable? Am I missing a load of very obese elderly people who are still out there living their lives?

GreatFuckability Sat 26-Sep-15 19:57:17

my gran was big and lived to be 86.

SpanielFace Sat 26-Sep-15 20:01:23

My grandma is very obese, has been for several decades, and is currently 83. She has some health problems but mostly to do with her joints, she had knee and hip arthritis and is waiting for a knee replacement, but has been told she needs to lose weight first. No other serious health issues as far as I'm aware. I know it's far from ideal but statistics are just that - you are statistically more likely to develop various illnesses if you are very overweight, but there's no guarantee that you definitely will.

MrsTedCrilly Sat 26-Sep-15 20:01:49

My gran is big in her 80s and still going strong! She doesn't go out though and I'm sure there are lots of others who find it hard so you just don't see them.

sharonthewaspandthewineywall Sat 26-Sep-15 20:03:17

I remember very recently seeing an article about an 85 year old who joined slimming world and lost seven stone. So its never too late.
Your mum is young- plenty of time with some encouragement to turn it around

TinklyLittleLaugh Sat 26-Sep-15 20:05:51

As others have said, I imagine very obese elderly people just can't get out very much.

InSpaceNooneCanHearYouScream Sat 26-Sep-15 20:06:26

Well unfortunately the chances aren't great. Strain on the heart from obesity- hypertension further increasing the risks of strokes and heart disease. Sorry, not trying to scare you. flowers

manicinsomniac Sat 26-Sep-15 20:07:01

So glad to hear these stories!

I mean, I know remaining that kind of size isn't ideal but it's good to know it's at least possible.

But I always hear that bringing up weight loss with people who are very overweight is like a kick in the teeth they really don't need and only makes them feel worse about themselves. So I thought it would be a bad idea. Do you think I am wrong and should be encouraging her?

trixymalixy Sat 26-Sep-15 20:07:37

My gran lived until her late 80s and was morbidly obese with type 2 diabetes.

InSpaceNooneCanHearYouScream Sat 26-Sep-15 20:10:35

It is very hard to tackle- how about a gentle but direct 'I'm worried I'll lose you because of your weight'. That is the truth after all

miaowroar Sat 26-Sep-15 20:13:04

I am 60 and very obese (BMI of 40+) and am trying very hard to lose it with Slimming World. I have a long way to go, but it is quite a doable regime. Has she tried SW - it is easier to lose it when you have the support of others.

I work part-time (was full-time until a year ago) and get out pretty easily (I drive) although I should do exercise, I can't do high impact because of knees etc.

Have you chatted to your Mum - tell her your concerns, but offer some ideas and support too, not just body shaming and telling her "it's easy - just eat less". If it was easy, I would have done it years ago - easy things are what I do best! wink Ask her how you can help and tell her how much you worry.

I think it's a bit much to be called elderly at 60 these days, though. sad

ColdTeaAgain Sat 26-Sep-15 20:14:31

My Nan is huge and in her late 70's. Her general is not too bad considering her weight but her mobility is really terrible and that is down to being so overweight for decades.

MinecraftWonder Sat 26-Sep-15 20:15:32

YANBU - sorry op.

I know of one obese elderly lady, my great-gran, who was well into her 90's when she died and a good size 20ish.

Other than that - no. It's not a sight you often see.

manicinsomniac Sat 26-Sep-15 20:16:48

Oh, miaow , I'm sorry, I didn't mean she is elderly now - I meant I'm worried she won't get to be elderly!

I really admire you weight loss efforts and wish you lots of luck, success and many years of health ahead of you.

I haven't chatted to her. It's tricky because, although I'm stable, I'm the opposite to her - significantly underweight and have had anorexia for half my life now. So I'm no healthier than she is - though I genuinely believe I am in far less medical danger and my illness/weight haven't been a medical concern for many years.

Mintyy Sat 26-Sep-15 20:22:15

Both of my grandmothers were obese, although I'm not sure morbidly? I don't know what defines mordibly obese.

My df's mother was under 5ft tall and about a size 18. She died age 90 of a stroke.

My dm's mother was not tall, size 20-22, died aged very nearly 95. Just a fairly sudden decline when she decided she didn't enjoy life any more. Cause of death old age.

VoyageOfDad Sat 26-Sep-15 20:31:29

I think maybe an important thing is that your mum recognises any medical issues that might arise.

The strain on her heart will be greater than others, and its worth knowing what the early signs of a heart attack are and taking action.

I knew a man who was morbidly obese, lovely guy, sadly departed. Heart attack at 47.

greenfolder Sat 26-Sep-15 20:32:15

My friends mum is 72 and scheduled to have an NHS gastric band shortly.

nicoleshitzinger Sat 26-Sep-15 20:33:00

FIL and MIL very obese. They are 82 and 76 respectively. FIL had a stroke 10 years ago and is incontinent (just bladder) and has very poor mobility. His size and extreme cussedness makes him extremely hard to care for. MIL has a pace maker, joint problems and diabetes. Between the two of them they take dozens of tablets a day.

After a lifetime of hard work their retirement has been spent in poor health and has been taken up with hospital stays and GP and hospital appoinments.

OP, you can bet your mum has thought and worried about her weight. It's never too late to improve your health. I hope she can find some will and strength to do this.

Egghead68 Sat 26-Sep-15 20:35:11

My great-aunt was obese and died in her eighties.

ValancyJane Sat 26-Sep-15 20:36:02

My Nan has been morbidly obese for as long as I can remember, and she's 78 this year. Mum and I do worry about it, she is well enough in herself (aside from a scary kidney infection last year) but her quality of life isn't as nearly as good as it could be in the last five years or so, she isn't very mobile and then becomes depressed when she can't get out and about. My Granddad, who is about 80, is still very active and sprightly and is essentially her carer in a lot of ways. She would be unable to live alone if she didn't have him because of her lack of mobility. Doctors/Nurses/Family have all tried their best to suggest weight loss, but it has fallen on deaf ears - and even now that she eats very little she is so inactive that the weight isn't budging.

The irony is, my Mum is also morbidly obese, and has said so many times 'I wish she'd lose weight so she could get about more' and I just think 'can't you see that history is going to repeat itself'. Personally I am intending to break the cycle!!

Signoritawhocansway Sat 26-Sep-15 20:36:31

My mother is morbidly obese. She is 69. She has always had high bp, has has clots, so is on warfarin, has type 2 diabetes which is pretty uncontrollable, she now has severe heart failure and chronic kidney disease. She should be 70 in four months time, but I'm not sure she will make it that far.

For as long as I have been old enough to understand the implications, I have talked to her about her eating. It has made no difference, even when I have ramped it up to "if you don't start doing something about it, you'll die".

She had a pretty shitty childhood, and I would say has undiagnosed mental health issues.

I find it hard though. I feel like she doesn't love me, my brother (who she is close to) or my Dad enough to want to change. And now it's far too late. I am 33, with a 2year old who she dotes on. He won't remember her.

So my advice is talk about it. It won't be easy, it may not change things. But at least you've tried.

InSpaceNooneCanHearYouScream Sat 26-Sep-15 20:43:58

signorita flowers

miaowroar Sat 26-Sep-15 20:45:54

Manic Oohh - I see what you mean - doh - how dozy am I?

I think you are right that as someone underweight you probably have fewer health issues than your mother, but that doesn't mean that you can't worry about her and talk to her about it. She might in turn raise concerns of her own about you - but it will open up the opportunity to discuss things.

Signorita I am sure your mother loves you all dearly - I love my family very much indeed, but I still find it hard to lose weight. It is like an addiction - just because it is food not alcohol, tobacco or drugs, doesn't make it easier, but never think it is because she doesn't love you.

LunchpackOfNotreDame Sat 26-Sep-15 20:47:06

One of my nans was obese. She was big in general though at 6' tall so was quite an imposing figure. She died aged 83

Marynary Sat 26-Sep-15 20:49:45

I know someone in her eighties who has always been very obese in the time I have known her (since her mid 40s). It has a huge impact on her quality of life unfortunately as she has been disabled by her weight for many years now and is unable to leave the house.

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