Caregivers in Stamford, CT – Watch for Signs of Frailty in Your Loved One and Visit the Doctor Often
The leading cause of injuries for older Americans is falling – every year nearly one of three adults over 65 years will fall. Part of this is due to the role that frailty plays in the decline of strength and fortitude in older adults. Researchers at both Columbia and Johns Hopkins Universities have found that activity plays an integral role in the fight against frailty. Are you worried that your parent will take a fall that could change their life? Read on to find out what causes frailty and how best to avoid it well into the golden years.
Frailty – what causes it?
Frailty isn’t the result of a specific problem or disease – it is a general systems failure in the body. It can be identified through abnormal functioning in body features such as anemia, inflammation and fine motor skills. Frailty can include social, psychological and physical factors. It could be a lack of spirit, depressed mood or attitude as well as physical limitations. Observe your elderly mother or father – is anything in their composure or functioning different from when they were younger? Look for clues outside of their normal routine.
Frailty – how can we treat it?
Frailty is hard to treat with one specific type of medicine or exercise regime. Preventative care is always preferable to seeking treatment once symptoms arise. Medications or hormone replacement therapy will likely not be very effective in treating frailty unless multiple systems are targeted for improvement. General approaches such as maintaining physical activity well into old age has been shown to be very effective at improving many aspects of biology and overall health.
Warning signs - 5 key things to watch out for
1. Inactivity – a sudden marked drop in activity is indicative of increasing frailty.
2. Loss of appetite and drop in weight – Losing interest in food and dropping weight suddenly are both causes for concern in older adults. Check with your doctor for any underlying medical conditions.
3. Change – Sudden changes in personality or cognitive abilities indicates something might be wrong.
4. Unsteadiness – Loss of some balance is common with aging, however marked unsteadiness it not. Take your loved one to a doctor if this happens to them.
5. Slowing down – A significantly slower pace is another sign that it may be time for a check-in with the doctor.
Many conditions from heart attacks to strokes, to falls and weight loss can cause frailty. Being aware of the warning signs and taking appropriate cautionary measures will keep seniors healthy long into the future. Help your parent to eat a balanced diet, get enough exercise and social activity. If you’re having trouble with this, you may want to hire a home care provider to assist with the daily tasks your parent needs.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregives in Stamford, CT or the surrounding areas, please contact SYNERGY HomeCare of Stamford, CT at (203) 340-0652.