Four Ways to Avoid the Frailty Risk of Aging: Staying Active as You Age; Eating a Healthy Diet for Your Age; Exercise and the Aging Person. Having a spring in your step, eating healthy foods, and feeling optimistic all contribute to a great day. But did you know that taking care of these things could also help you avoid or even reverse frailty, which is the decline in strength, speed, and energy that can make it harder to be independent as you get older?
Frailty affects between 7% and 11% of Americans over the age of 65. One in 25 people between the ages of 65 and 74 and one in four people over the age of 84 are at risk. This is concerning due to the fact that frailty raises the risk of infections, illnesses that necessitate hospitalization, falls, and even disabilities. Frailty doubles the risk of surgical complications, prolongs hospital stays, and increases the likelihood of leaving one’s independence behind (and moving to a nursing home or assisted living facility) after surgery, according to a Johns Hopkins study of 594 older adults.
Johns Hopkins’ cutting-edge research is assisting physicians and their patients in recognizing frailty earlier, resulting in improved health outcomes. Samuel Durso, M.D., director of geriatric medicine and gerontology at Johns Hopkins, states, “We can develop better interventions—from medications to lifestyle changes—if we understand the underlying biomedical processes that create frailty.” Fortunately, research has already demonstrated that a few lifestyle changes can assist.
Early recognition of weakness
If you or a loved one meets three or more of these Johns Hopkins-developed criteria, you may be considered frail:
Your size is falling. In the past year, you’ve lost at least 10 pounds unintentionally.
You feel helpless. You are unable to stand on your own or have weaker grip strength.
You’re worn out. You have to put a lot of effort into everything, or you just can’t get going three days a week or more.
Your level of activity is low. This includes regular exercise, household chores, and fun activities.
Your pace is slow. If it takes you more than six or seven seconds to walk 15 feet, your pace is considered slow.
If you’re worried, talk to your doctor about frailty. Maintaining control over chronic conditions like diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure is also crucial,” Durso points out.