Illness, Restricted Activity Lead to Decline in Seniors

by Lois Etienne on December 10, 2010

in Senior Health and Safety

Active Seattle Seniors Most seniors want to remain in their home. Attempting to remain healthy and active is a good place to start. Research reveals that illnesses and injuries, which lead to hospitalization or activity restriction, were associated with worsening functional ability, especially among those who were physically frail, according to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Among older persons, disability in essential activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, and walking, is common and associated with an increased rate of death, institutionalization, and greater use of formal and informal home services.

What’s more, restricted activity increased the likelihood of transitioning from no disability to both mild and severe disability, respectively, and from mild disability to severe disability, the research authors wrote.

One common senior-related risk – falls – were often a culprit as well. Among the possible reasons for hospitalization or restricted activity, fall-related injury represented the highest likelihood of developing new or worsening disability, the study noted.

While disability may require greater use of home services, according to the research, such assistance also can help keep older adults independent longer, according to the Home Instead Senior Care.  In home care and companionship services prevent further decline in seniors by ensuring that they are eating well and remaining active. Meal preparation, light housekeeping, medication reminders, errands and shopping all lead to greater independence for older adults who are recuperating from illness or rehabilitating from surgery.

Family caregivers often call upon Home Instead Senior Care when their loved ones have returned home from the hospital or are recovering from an illness. Our CAREGivers also can help seniors stay on the move by encouraging them to walk and remain active in an effort to fight frailty. The study confirms that frail seniors are at particular risk of declining health if they are unable to remain active. Home helper services can reassure both seniors and their family loved ones who can’t always be close by.

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