Working to Avoid Frailty

The term “frail” is often used to describe the appearance of an older person. The term itself suggests vulnerability, slowness and disability. The medical definition of frailtyrequires that three of the following characteristics be present:

  • shrinking/weight loss (10 pounds or more in one year)
  • physical exhaustion (self-reported)
  • muscle weakness (measured by weak grip strength)
  • decline in walking speed
  • low physical activity

Unfortunately, low physical activity is a common way of life for many Americans. I can honestly say that physical activity and/or exercise is probably the most difficult prescription for my patients to fill. Much of their time is spent in sedentary activities – if not watching TV, then in front of a screen (such as a computer or handheld device), reading, doing puzzles – anything but moving around. As a result of inactivity, the individual’s muscles lose their functional capacity and tone, and may eventually become infiltrated with fat. Aside from the obvious change in the composition of the muscles, their ability to function is also affected. As a result, this also leads to physical exhaustion, muscle weakness, and potentially a decline in walking speed. Lack of physical activity alone could also lead to decline in walking speed due to a loss of muscle tone, muscle function, and cardiovascular endurance.

Click here to read the full article:

Tags: , , , ,

Comments are closed.


Always Here caregivers are extensively screened, trained and background checked.
Always Here Home Care is insured, bonded and licensed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.