Reducing Frailty In Senior Living Residents

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A common reason many people seek senior living is an increase in their frailty, or that of a loved one. Perhaps they’ve had a fall, or are worried about one. Maybe it’s becoming harder to take on daily activities or get out of the house to meet friends and loved ones. The effects of that frailty are having a tangible impact on their quality of life.

Frailty is a common concern for older adults and their loved ones.

With a move to senior living, often people are just hoping to maintain the strength and abilities they or their loved ones have left – but what if moving to a senior living community can actually decrease someone’s level of frailty, and they can instead get stronger with time?

Those are the findings of a study published last year by the University of Chicago. As noted in the article:

“The research really does drive home the value proposition for senior housing and care that’s offered to residents,” said Ryan Brooks, Senior Principal at the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care. “What this shows is, senior housing has the ability to recognize a person’s vulnerability to declining health outcomes and then in turn offer supportive services and healthcare to them. It can lead to greater resident vitality and quality of life.”

How Senior Living Can Help

A main reason why senior living can have such a positive effect is the holistic approach in caring for all aspects of a resident’s well-being.

As the report itself notes: “Vulnerability of older adults is an important concept in senior housing and care research, because it suggests that vulnerability is not a permanent condition, but rather a temporary state of being that can be corrected with the proper interventions. Senior housing and care operators routinely assess residents to mitigate risk and improve health, as even older adults who are relatively healthy could be one incident away from needing higher levels of care.”

There are a variety of ways senior living communities, like Prestige, help residents thrive and mitigate that frailty and vulnerability.

Fitness

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests older adults should be getting 150 minutes of exercise per week, with a combination of cardio, strength and balance exercises. But living alone, many older adults can struggle to do so, and may not even know what to do or how to do it.

Or, fear of injury could be preventing them from engaging in a workout program. But by not exercising, it creates and builds frailty, making it harder to exercise, and the cycle perpetuates.

But residents who live in senior living take part in regular fitness classes that build strength and stamina. At Prestige, that includes a full suite of fitness offerings, including our Energize Exercise program, Ageless Grace®, fall reduction classes, personal training and more.

Nutrition

How often do you get to dinner time, aren’t inspired by anything you have on hand or don’t want to cook, and go the easy route with pizza or toast for dinner?

It’s fine to a degree to do that from time to time, but as we age, it becomes more and more important to eat properly – failing to so can exacerbate the physical deterioration that naturally comes with age since older adults have more specific dietary needs.

In a senior living community, the dining staff plans meals well in advance, ensuring residents always get something healthy. At Prestige, residents enjoy restaurant-quality dining from talented culinary teams who adhere to the unique needs of older adults. That includes portion sizes, the proper servings of fruit and vegetables, low sodium, and even tailoring meals to people who have trouble chewing.

Transportation

Yes, along with tangible physical elements like fitness and nutrition, transportation can also play a big role in helping older adults thrive and stave off frailty.

For many older adults, it can be difficult to keep up with their medical appointments. If someone can’t drive, or isn’t comfortable driving, their options may be limited in terms of getting to and from their various appointments. Buses can be inconvenient, ride shares are expensive, and loved ones might be busy. As such, their health suffers if they aren’t able to see their medical providers as often as they should.

But many assisted living communities, Prestige included, have transportation services available for residents. Our teams help keep residents on top of their appointment calendars and safely get them to and from their doctors, helping them stay strong and healthy.

Medication Management

Struggling to get to doctor’s appointments can have a secondary effect on older adults by impacting their prescriptions and medications.

If they can’t see doctors in a timely manner, they may not be able to get medications for new issues they’re dealing with or change or alter medications they already have. They also can’t discuss side effects they may be living with or ask questions about dosages. Furthermore, for those living at home, it can also be easy to get confused with what they need to take and when.

At Prestige, communities employ Health Services Directors and Medication Technicians who help residents keep track of their prescriptions. They can help administer medication as needed, maintain records, coordinate with medical providers and pharmacists, and more.

Every day these team members help residents with vital elements of their health and that keep them strong and thriving.

Social Life

Older adults who struggle with frailty and mobility don’t just endure the physical effects, but the mental and emotional ones too. If it’s difficult to get out and see friends and loved ones, it can lead to greater isolation and loneliness, two traits that can cause mental health concerns.

At a senior living community, there’s a social circle literally right outside the front door of a resident’s apartment. Whether it’s meals together, happy hours, fitness classes, outings and excursions or other events, there’s always something to do.

At Prestige, our Life Enrichment Directors make sure there are always fun activities happening every day that keeps life engaging and fulfilling for residents. Every day is a new adventure at Prestige!

Learn More About Prestige Senior Living

If you or a loved one is concerned about frailty, our teams are here to help. Contact the location nearest you to come in and meet our team. You can learn more about how that community can help with the specific needs you or a loved one may have.

You can learn more about fitness, and how it works with your ability and comfort level. You’ll also be able to learn more about the dining program and discuss and specific needs you may have, medication management, the social programming and much more.

It’s not enough to just maintain your quality of life, we’re here to improve it.