Want to age as well as Betty White? While the life expectancy of Canadians has been growing and many of us can expect to live into our 80s and beyond, the fact is that many Canadians live the last 10 years of their lives in frailty, says April Lewis in her column in the Surrey-Now Leader. What defines frailty? Age-related decline in health and function.
But research show that frailty does not have to occur as we get older. The Canadian Frailty Network recommends the AVOID frailty strategy, that is:
- A: Activity – exercise at any age is helpful;
- V: Vaccination – think hepatitis, shingles, flu, pneumonia and, of course, COVID-19;
- O: Optimize medication – ensure you need the medication and that the doses are optimal;
- I: Interaction – social engagement is critical to healthy aging and social isolation correlates with frailty progression;
- D: Diet – As you get older, food is medicine in order to ensure adequate protein, calcium etc.
Lewis suggests checking with your doctor about your AVOID strategy, and she also shares details about a few community programs that help to keep older adults connected and socializing. To read her column, check out the Surrey-Now Leader here.