Frailty is typically defined as getting slower, losing strength, weight loss, and not having as much strength as a person did when they were younger. Most people assume that getting frail is a natural part of aging. However, new research suggests that frailty is a condition and not a byproduct of aging.
Studying frailty is important because it has been linked to seniors having a lower quality of life. It also puts older adults at a greater risk for being hospitalized, having to move to a long-term care facility, and even for dying.
To learn more about frailty, researchers reviewed 46 previous studies that involved a total of 120,000 people who were aged 60 or older. The participants came from 28 different countries. The researchers concluded that about 4.3 percent of older adults develop frailty yearly. Women, they found, are more likely to become frail than men are.
Because of the rate at which older adults become frail, the researchers suggested that doctors should screen older adults regularly so that they can be treated sooner.
How to Prevent Frailty
Frailty isn’t inevitable. There are things older adults can do to prevent it. By preventing frailty, older adults can remain more independent as they age. Some things that can reduce the chances of your aging relative becoming frail are:
Talk to the Doctor About Frailty: Discuss frailty with the senior’s doctor. Ask them to screen the older adult for signs of frailty and suggest things that can improve their overall health. Also, make sure chronic conditions, like high blood pressure, are being well controlled since illnesses can contribute to frailty.
Stay Physically Active: Inactivity is one of the major contributors to frailty. As people age, they tend to slow down. Some older adults find themselves spending most of their day sitting in front of the television or the computer. That leads to weaker muscles. Staying active can make a difference, and it doesn’t have to mean strenuous workouts. Simply doing more around the house, going for walks, or going for a swim can make a difference.
Eat a Healthy Diet: Some studies have shown that following a Mediterranean diet reduces the chances of becoming frail. A Mediterranean diet is one that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and low-fat dairy products.
Home care can assist older adults to prevent frailty by cooking healthy meals for them and encouraging them to engage in more physical activity. If your older family member is already frail, home care can be an asset in keeping them safer and healthier. A home care provider can escort them when they walk, making sure they do not fall. Home care providers can also take care of the things around the house that are difficult because of weakened muscles, like cleaning and doing laundry.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Home Care in Novi, MI, or the surrounding area, please contact the caring staff at CareOne Senior Care today. Call us at (248) 308-2777.