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Frailty and Dementia

Senior man sitting on chair in home.

Understanding the Impact of Frailty on Dementia

Worldwide, around 50 million people have dementia, and there are nearly 10 million new cases every year, according to the World Health Organization. Dementia not only impacts cognitive function, resulting in a deterioration of memory, thinking, and behavior but the ability to physically perform everyday activities as well.

If there is another underlying health issue present, a person may be more susceptible to dementia, and it may progress at a faster rate. Studies suggest that frailty makes people more susceptible to dementia and causes them to exhibit more dementia-related symptoms. This post from Springpoint Senior Living looks into the link between frailty and dementia.

Preventing Frailty Decreases Progression of Dementia

When a person’s body is not functioning at 100%, they are more vulnerable to adverse effects of the disease. In The Lancet Neurology, Kenneth Rockwood, MD, shares, “People with frailty have a decreased physiological reserve and increased vulnerability to adverse health outcomes… compared with other people of the same age.” Simply put, when our bodies are already fighting one health matter, it’s harder to add another into the mix.

This is why recognizing frailty is a vital step to slowing down cognitive decline. You or a loved one may be considered frail if you meet three or more of these components of frailty by Johns Hopkins Medicine:

  1. You’ve unintentionally lost 10 or more pounds in the past year.
  2. You have a reduced grip strength.
  3. You feel exhausted and have decreased endurance and energy.
  4. You have a slower pace – it takes more than seven seconds to walk 15 feet.
  5. You have a low activity level, even in daily chores and activities you enjoy.

Thankfully, there are ways for you to help prevent the progression of frailty and dementia. Developing interventions by making lifestyle changes can keep your mind sharp and body powerful. Here are a few tips to stay strong and exercise your body and mind:

  • Be Active: Incorporating exercise into your routine three to four times a week greatly benefits your physical health. By building muscle and increasing cardiovascular function, your body will continue to stay strong and keep you moving.
  • Eat Well: A healthy, balanced diet does so much good for your body. Aim for three meals a day containing fruits, vegetables, protein, good fats, low-fat dairy, and whole grains.
  • Stay Positive: An optimistic mindset can go a long way. Staying socially connected and continuing to learn increases cognitive function and sharpens thinking.

Take Care of Whole-Body Wellness at Springpoint Senior Living

At Springpoint Senior Living, we believe it’s important to look at health holistically; that’s why we offer our LivWell program in all communities. This wellness program caters to each of the seven dimensions of wellness and promotes whole-body health. All seven dimensions (physical, intellectual, emotional, social, environment, spiritual and vocational) influence overall wellbeing and improves physical and mental health. Contact us to learn more today.

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