Frailty is not an inevitable part of aging. There ways to prevent it and stay healthy as we age.
What is frailty?
Frailty is not an inevitable part of aging. It’s a medical condition that affects the health and function of older adults. Frailty arises from factors like inactivity, poor nutrition, social isolation and medication interactions.
You can use the 'AVOID Frailty' strategy, created by the Canadian Frailty Network, to help maintain a healthy aging lifestyle and prevent frailty, no matter where you are in your aging journey.
AVOID Frailty is a trademark of the Canadian Frailty Network, used under license in Canada.
Here are different ways to stay healthier and avoid frailty as you age:
The importance of staying active
Daily exercise is an important part of healthy aging and preventing frailty. Even 10 minutes of activity, three times a day can:
- Increase energy levels
- Improve mental sharpness
- Lower dementia risk
- Decrease stress, anxiety and fatigue
- Strengthen muscles and bones
- Lower risk of falls and hip fractures
Explore exercise routines to avoid frailty.
Vaccines help prevent you from getting sick. Be sure to stay up to date with B.C.'s routine immunizations, which are available for free at local health units, doctor's offices, or pharmacies. For more information or to schedule your vaccinations, visit our page or call 604-702-4906 if you are a resident of Fraser East (Mission, Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Agassiz and Hope). Residents in any other area of Fraser Health, call 604-476-7087.
You can also contact your health care provider to discuss your vaccination needs.
Optimize your medications
It’s important to regularly review any medications you take – prescriptions, over-the-counter remedies, vitamins and supplements – for potential negative side effects. As you age and if you experience weight fluctuation, your medications may need to be adjusted.
Consult with your health care provider about:
- Recent medication changes
- Purpose of each medication
- Proper use of the medication
- Possible side effects
- How to know if the medication is working
If you don’t have a family doctor, pharmacists can provide comprehensive medication reviews and advice.
Interacting with friends, family and community
We know that living alone is not the same as being lonely. We also know that strong social connections enhance quality of life and help us live longer.
There are many ways to engage in community activities, including programs at local seniors' centers, community centers, or libraries, which can offer many different activities like fitness classes, book clubs and more.
You can also connect with Fraser Health's Day Program for Older Adults, which offer social engagement, activities and health monitoring for those seeking to live independently.
For local program information, visit bc211.ca or call 2-1-1. If you need help finding these services, speak to your health care provider about seniors' community connectors.
Nutrition plays a crucial role in keeping us healthy, no matter our age. As we get older, maintaining a healthy diet is a big part of preventing frailty.
Making sure we get enough fruits and vegetables, lean meats and proteins, like fish and tofu and fiber is important.
Limiting our alcohol consumption is also important for maintaining our health. There are increased impacts of alcohol on older adults, especially those with health conditions or on medication. Understand the signs of alcohol misuse and find ways to support affected individuals.