Preventing & Coping with Frailty in Older Adults

May 25, 2017 | BY PHS Staff

Among seniors over the age of 75, frailty is a common concern. It’s also an issue that seniors and caregivers alike should take seriously. Frailty greatly increases the chance of illness and injury in older adults, and frail seniors experience faster health declines than other seniors. That’s why it’s so important for seniors and family caregivers to do what they can to prevent frailty or to stop frailty from worsening if it’s already an issue.

At Preferred HealthStaff, we regularly care for frail seniors and seniors at risk of frailty through our personal care services. Below, our caregivers list their advice for preventing and coping with frailty in elderly adults.

Note: Before making lifestyle changes, be sure to consult with your loved one’s doctor.

Preventing Frailty

Lifestyle choices play a big role in a person’s risk of developing frailty, so the best protection against frailty is a healthy diet and regular exercise. That doesn’t mean watching every calorie and hiring a personal trainer, but it does mean making consistently healthy choices.

One of the biggest risk factors for frailty is an inactive lifestyle, making exercise an important part of staving off frailty. So long as seniors have the strength and physical health to stay active, they should try to find ways to incorporate exercise into their day-to-day life. Chores and housekeeping tasks like vacuuming, doing laundry, and gardening can help seniors maintain — and even grow — muscle mass. Incorporating senior-friendly exercise, like daily walks or water aerobics, will also help seniors maintain strength and ward off frailty. If your loved one needs assistance or support with exercise, personal care services can help.

Seniors can also prevent frailty by eating a diet rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals. This is another area where personal care services can help, as many caregivers help seniors shop for nutritious foods and prepare healthy meals.

Coping with Frailty

If a senior has already started to develop frailty, extra care needs to be taken in their day-to-day life. While these seniors should still exercise regularly and eat well to slow, stop, or reverse their loss of strength, it’s important that they don’t put themselves at risk of injury or illness while doing so. Close consultation with your loved one’s doctor is crucial for seniors with existing frailty issues.

Many seniors with frailty benefit from walking aids, which can help them with mobility and reduce their risk of falls. Seniors’ homes should also be carefully evaluated for tripping, slipping, and fall risks. Seniors will also need assistance — either from family members or personal care service providers — with activities and tasks where strength or safety are an issue.

Do you have a loved one suffering from or at risk of frailty? Call Preferred HealthStaff at 866-943-9791 today to learn more about how our personal care services can help.