As each of us get older, becoming frail is the last thing any of us think about. Many times I’ve heard people comment how cute they find an elderly man or woman that is frail. “They’re just like a porcelain doll.” I guarantee that none of us will think it’s cute if we become frail ourselves.
What is frailty and why should we care about it?
Frailty is a decline in strength or energy that actually puts older adults at risk for illness and injury. It’s impacted by things like proper nutrition and getting enough exercise that helps to build and maintain muscle. We have to care about this because frailty is an extreme loss of strength and energy. It puts our loved ones and ourselves at greater risk for developing illness and being injured. Frailty is one of the leading causes of falls in the home of those over the age of 65. It also depletes the immune system so that we have a harder time of fighting off illness. The good news is that it can be screened for by a physician.
Recognize The Signs of Frailty
Decreased Grip Strength
Sudden or unintentional weight loss
Get in the fight and kick frailty to the curb!
Now that you know what frailty is - it’s time to start fighting against it. Combating frailty revolves mainly around diet and exercise. Make sure you’re eating a balanced and healthy diet that helps to boost your immune system. Making sure that you’re adding leafy green vegetables like kale and peas in your diet. These have the highest amounts of protein and help to rebuild muscle. Along with protein make sure sources of calcium and vitamin D are included in your diet to help with bone strength and muscle health.
You may also need to speak with your doctors and see if any of your medications may be affecting your appetite. You will also want to maintain good dental health, not only because it helps your heart, but also so you can chew comfortably.
Along with all the changes in diet, we need to make sure we’re staying active. There are a lot of great activities that can help us remain physical. Freudenthal is proud to be able to help with this by providing exercise classes all across the area lead by Kelly Jarrett, PTA. There are also exercises like walking and Tai Chi that are very popular in our area.