Fear of Frailty

Posted on

Sep 05, 2019

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We all face fears in our lifetime. Aging brings out new fears not thought of in our youth. For example, we worry about our loss of independence, running out of money, having to move out of our home, and many other factors. Fear of frailty is a huge concern for seniors and their caregivers.

Medical professionals describe frailty as a syndrome of weakness, fatigue and decline in physical activity, which can rob seniors of their independence. This can result from a heart attack, stroke, fall or weight loss.


What often leads to frailty, however, is a lack of motivation and ability to stay active. Inactivity then becomes a big worry for seniors and family caregivers, and this largely is because they dont want to lose their independence. According to the results of a recent national survey of seniors and grown children, staying physically active was a major challenge for older adults. 74% of seniors 65 and older say that staying physically active is a major challenge, and 81% of adult caregivers say this as well.
Furthermore, 9 out of 10 seniors surveyed say losing independence is their greatest fear.Frailty can be difficult to define, but most know it when they see it, said Dr. Stephanie Studenski(University of Pittsburgh Institute on Aging). She is one of the nations foremost authorities and researchers of mobility, balance disorders and falls in older adults. After surveying health care providers and family caregivers on how frailty is viewed, they found that many family members base frailty on social and psychological changes they see in their loved ones. Doctors, on the other hand, focus more on the physical evidence. Therefore, it is important to look at the whole individual regarding social, psychological and physical factors. Notably, Dr. Studenski said that frailty can be both prevented and reversed by activity. The activities can be directed at the seniors mind, body and soul, all of which are important to helping seniors age well. Staying active, therefore, is viewed by many as vital to healthy aging and, hopefully with time, eliminating the fear factors of aging. '


Editors Note: The study noted was conducted by Home Instead Senior Care and Dr. Stephanie Studenski. This article was submitted by Home Instead Senior Care Dallas

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