One way of determining the ideal weight for a senior is to calculate the senior's body mass index using a BMI Calculator. AARP.com, for instance, offers an online BMI calculator that calculates body mass index based on a person's height and weight. The BMI calculator places the resulting data on a range in which a BMI of less than 18.5 indicates the person is underweight and a BMI of more than 30.0 indicates the person is obese.
Body mass index is not always the most accurate determinate indicator of healthy body weight, especially for seniors whose bodies experience a slowing down of the metabolism and an increase in fat storage during their later years. For this reason, BMI is only a general guideline for a healthy body weight, and a doctor should ultimately determine an ideal weight suited to the individual senior in question.
Another method of finding a senior's ideal weight is to determine the number of calories a senior should be consuming daily, as proper consumption of calories helps to move the body toward an ideal weight. Women over the age of 50 who are inactive, for instance, require just 1,600 calories a day, while very active women over the age of 50 require about 2,000 to 2,200 calories. Lifestyle and age both affect these parameters.
Maintaining a healthy weight in old age is important for avoiding late-onset conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, maintaining healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and retaining memory and mental ability.