‘A.V.O.I.D.’ technique offers key to warding off frailty

Measures to help enjoy a more productive life in senior years

The Seniors Health Network each month explores a different health-care topic with local professionals. This month, Dr. Grace Park shares ways seniors can “AVOID” the pitfalls that contribute to physical decline and frailty.

My mom lives in White Rock. She is 86 and just starting to lose her mobility. I wouldn’t exactly call her frail, but she seems to be deteriorating. Are there any special programs available that might decrease her decline?

We all hope to age well and avoid frailty. The good news is that research on frailty is showing that it can be prevented or at least delayed so that we can enjoy a more productive life in our senior years. Therefore, it is critically important that we intervene and change our lifestyles to ensure we enact the elements that are now recommended by the Canadian Frailty Network to avoid frailty. These are: “AVOID.

A – Activity, V – vaccination, O- optimize medications, I-Interact, D- Diet.

Our community has a lot to offer to help seniors avoid frailty and remain independent for as long as possible. Health starts with having a primary care provider, a GP or a Nurse Practitioner who can attend to your health needs. They can also provide periodic health assessments and recommend a wellness oriented care plan and vaccinations as required. He or she can optimize your medications with regular review to ensure you are still benefiting from them, and reduce the number of medications if possible.

Community recreation centres offer exercise classes for all levels of fitness and even for those with mobility problems, like Get Up and Go classes.

Interaction with people to avoid social isolation is a very important piece of the AVOID strategy. Social isolation has been shown to increase chance of premature death, depression, dementia, number of falls, increase care-giver burden and generally reduce quality of life. Unfortunately, many socially isolated seniors are reluctant to step out and lack the confidence to interact in social settings.

White Rock-South Surrey now has a Seniors Community Connector Program that GP/NPs can refer their patients to through Social Prescribing. If there is a need to improve a senior’s activity/exercise level, nutrition and food security as well as social interactions, the GP/NP can refer their patient to the Seniors Community Connector. The Senior Community Connector will speak with the senior (and family caregiver) to address all aspects of their social health. She is aware of all the senior services in the community and make appropriate recommendations. If there is need for more support to increase motivation and goal setting to overcome barriers, a peer volunteer coach can be connected. This program is available through Seniors Come Share.

A community-based system for health involves the GP and hospital services, but also parks-and-rec centres, education partners, transportation, job and volunteer opportunities, mental health and substance use support, culturally appropriate programs for all ages and community services

The senior community connector will send a follow up report to the GP/NP so the senior will continue to receive the support and benefit of the health and social services connection.

The Senior Community Connector becomes an extension of your primary health care team to ensure a more holistic support network for the senior in the community.

Dr. Grace Park is a family physician who is currently the Medical Director for Home Health with the Fraser Health Authority.

Just Posted

City of Surrey says pension benefits ‘guaranteed’ for police recruits

A National Police Federation representative says it may not be enough incentive

Surrey-area teens will have a ball at Christmas, thanks to collection effort

Realty company’s Bring on the Balls campaign now in its third year

Surrey groups receive funding for training support for people 55-plus

PICS getting $728K to help 120 people over two years

City ready for ride-hailing, says Delta mayor

The city has set up business licence fees for ride-hailing on par with what taxis in Delta pay

White Rock financial plan discussions reveal divide

Mayor Darryl Walker favours tax increase, some councillors don’t

VIDEO: More air-passenger rights go into effect this weekend

The first set of passenger rights arrived in mid-July in Canada

Swoop airlines adds three destinations in 2020 – Victoria, Kamloops, San Diego

Low-fair subsidiary of WestJet Airlines brings new destinations in April 2020

Aid a priority for idled Vancouver Island loggers, John Horgan says

Steelworkers, Western Forest Products returning to mediation

Navigating ‘fever phobia’: B.C. doctor gives tips on when a sick kid should get to the ER

Any temperature above 38 C is considered a fever, but not all cases warrant a trip to the hospital

Transportation Safety Board finishes work at B.C. plane crash site, investigation continues

Transport Canada provides information bulletin, family of victim releases statement

Trudeau sets 2025 deadline to remove B.C. fish farms

Foes heartened by plan to transition aquaculture found in Fisheries minister mandate letter

Planning price tag for futuristic ‘We Town’ concept in Abbotsford revealed

Developer says highrises would house 30,000, but Abbotsford mayor says project is in wrong place

1,300-signature petition for free menstrual products turned over to UFV president

‘Go with the flow’ campaign calls for all University of the Fraser Valley bathrooms to be stocked

Wagon wheels can now be any size! B.C. community scraps 52 obsolete bylaws

They include an old bylaw regulating public morals

Most Read

l -->