Caring for the Entire SeniorMind, Body, and SoulFears of Ageing and HealthMary Alexander: Hi! I am Mary Alexander from Home Instead Senior Care. Today, I am discussing how to care for the entire senior.
Right now, I am going to talk about the fears associated with ageing and why some seniors become frail.
Many of the fears that aging adults experience, relate to the biggest challenges they say they face and that means staying active. In fact, according to a recent survey conducted for the Home Instead Senior Care network, by the Boomer Project, with seniors in both the US and Canada, seniors said they worry about the future with the number one fear being the loss of their independence. The fear of not being able to care for themselves anymore, is usually related to their second most worrisome fear which is declining health.
Other top ten fears are not being able to live at home, the inability to manage their own activities of daily living, not being able to drive and fear of falling or hurting themselves.
Seniors other top fears include death of a spouse or other family member. Isolation or loneliness and having a stranger care for them.
The other big fear is running out of money.
Let's talk some more about the fears related to declining health. We have all seen seniors who seem so vibrant and healthy and then that others who appear to be so much older, even though they might be younger in years.
A term used to describe this latter group is frail. Most of us know frailty when we see it. Weakness, fatigue, reduced activity levels and for some weight loss.
It is a condition that threatens the mind, body and social life of older adults. In fact, fear of frailty is a major concern, not only for seniors but for those ages 35 to 62. Many of whom are daughters, worried about their health of their older loved ones.
In a woman study released in 2009, researchers at Columbia and Johns Hopkins Universities discovered the important role activity plays in the fight against frailty and shed new light on what causes the condition.
Researchers found that frailty is the result of a systems failure in older adults, rather than a specific problem, disease or even chronological age. Data from women ages 70 to 79 let researchers to discover that half of those fragile seniors had three or more systems at abnormal levels. Compared with just 16% of the non-frail population, some of the factors that were assessed include anemia, information and fine motor skills.
Family members as well as professionals are playing a role in helping researchers define frailty.
One study conducted in 2004, asked healthcare providers and family caregivers what they see when they think of frailty. The result seem to surprise their researchers, Dr. Stephanie Studenski who serves as Director of Clinical research for the University of Pittsburgh institute on ageing said, that she thought the thing that was most striking about the research was that many family members perceived that an older person is getting more or less frail based on social and psychological factors, whereas doctors focused on the physical evidence.
What Dr. Studenski concluded is that frailty should not just be defined in physical terms, but should include spirit, mood and attitude. Even better, she said when it comes to frailty, there is heartening news. Family caregivers who can encourage and integrate physical, mental and social activities in senior's lives can help them ward off frailty and stay healthy.
So how do you help your senior stay strong, we'll talk about that in the next video.