Becoming weak and frail as a result of aging may just be a preventable and treatable health problem, just like obesity, cardiovascular complications and diabetes, a review suggests in the Frontier on Physiology.
A release from the publisher quotes the Head of the Catheterization Laboratory at the University Hospital in Opole, Poland as stating that societies are unaware of frailty as an avoidable health condition and most older adults typically resign themselves this condition. The good news is that by following the proper lifestyle and getting enough mental, physical and social activities, older adults may prevent or delay frailty that comes with aging.
In this article, the researchers at the University of Opole and the Opole University of Technology reviewed more than one hundred publications on identifying, treating and preventing frailty, with the aim of increasing awareness of this growing health condition.
The release also noted that frailty includes a range of symptoms that the majority of the people consider as just an unavoidable part of aging. These symptoms include muscle weakness, fatigue, unintentional weight loss and slower movements. Frailty also encompasses psychological and cognitive symptoms like depression, isolation and trouble in thinking clearly and quickly as patients could in their younger years.
These symptoms will decrease a person’s self-sufficiency and frail patients are more prone to suffer from infections, disability, falls and hospitalization, all of which can contribute to an early death. But as the review highlights, early detection and treatment of frailty and even pre-frailty can help many older adults live healthier and safer lives.
The review provides enough evidence that the prevalence and effect of frailty can be lessened, at least in part, with some straightforward steps. Not surprisingly, age-appropriate exercises have been identified as one of the most effective measures and interventions for helping older adults stay fit. Careful monitoring of diet and body weight are also vital to ensure that senior patients are not suffering from malnutrition, which is often a factor to contribute to frailty.
Socialization is another important factor to help avoid psychological and cognitive symptoms of frailty. Loss of purpose and loneliness can leave aging adults disengaged and unmotivated. Social programs too can improve by thoroughly addressing intellectual and social needs, as well as physical requirements.
It’s not clear yet as to how much these preventive steps can benefit the aging population but the researchers suggests that raising public awareness is a vital first step. Recognition of frailty as a preventable health condition by patients and doctors can contribute significantly to avoiding or delaying age-related frailty.
People and societies should be informed about age-related frailty and proper lifestyles should be suggested to delay and avoid these conditions. It’s important for people to realize that they can change their unfavorable perspectives of old age and this change in mentality is vital to preparing communities for greater longevity.