Frailty is a Medical Condition

Old Frail Woman

While frailty is most commonly associated with aging, results of a new study now define frailty as a medical condition rather than as a characteristic of aging. The study by researchers from Monash University in Australia was published August 3, 2019 in JAMA (the journal of the American Medical Association). The study was led by Dr. Richard Ofori-Asenso and Professor Danny Liew from the Monash School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine.

First Global Study to Determine the Development of Frailty in Community-dwelling Seniors

This was the first global study to try to determine if community-dwelling seniors will become frail. The researchers reviewed 46 studies of more than 120,000 seniors over the age of 60 in 28 countries and discovered that about 4.3% of community-dwelling seniors were likely to develop frailty every year. They also discovered that women were more likely to become frail than men.

What is Frailty?

To date, there is no real universal definition of frailty, but it often accompanies chronic disabling diseases. Frailty usually has to include at least three of the following signs.

  • Low physical activity
  • Weak grip
  • Low energy
  • Slow walking speed
  • Weight loss that was not part of dieting
  • Loss of muscle mass

Frailty can Lead to Bad Outcomes

Frailty can lead to bad outcomes. Frailty leads to a low quality of life and a high risk of:

  • Falls
  • Delirium
  • Disability
  • Hospitalizations
  • Institutionalization
  • Death

Frailty Projected to Increase

Frailty is projected to increase, as by 2050 more than 20% of the population of the world will be over the age of 60.

Frailty can be Prevented, Delayed or Reversed

Frailty can be prevented or delayed by supplementing with protein and with muscle strength training. In a previous study the authors found that frailty can be reversed.

Dutch Study for Home-based Exercise Program

A Dutch study showed that a home-based exercise program from a remote coach from a tablet application could help frail seniors get muscle strengthening exercise.

Protein to Build Muscle Mass

Whey was found to be the best protein for building muscle mass in seniors. See our blog post from March 19, 2019.

Seniors who Lived in Green Areas Protected from Frailty

A study From Hong Kong published February 2, 2018 in JAMDA, the Journal of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine showed that seniors who lived in a place containing more than 34% green space showed improvement for frailty. This was stronger in men than in women and the researchers assume that the men did more physical exercise outside, especially gardening.

Royal Suites Healthcare and Rehabilitation in Galloway Township, New Jersey

If your loved one is frail and in need of skilled nursing care, the Royal Suites Healthcare and Rehabilitation is a beautiful 5-star rehab and skilled nursing home in scenic Galloway Township, New Jersey. Since greenery may help to improve frailty, Royal suites is surrounded by eight acres of woods and landscaped gardens. They also have a high ratio of staff per resident so your loved one will get the very best of care.

Conclusion

Not all seniors become frail, but studies mentioned above show the importance of muscle strengthening exercise and getting enough protein like whey. It pays to do these in the hope of preventing frailty.

 

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