7 Pillars of Ageing

7 Pillars of Ageing

What we’ve learnt about Ageing

We have been with the Village retirement group for the past 11 years and focused on working with clients 65 years and older. During this time, we have learnt a lot about healthy ageing and the things clients can do to lessen the impact.

When I started with the Village group, only about 10-25 research articles per week focused on older adults, which has grown to greater than 250. As clinicians at Fizzio Clinics, it’s our role to read this research, interpret it, and develop actionable interventions you can use in your daily life to improve the quality of your life.

What we've Learnt

We’ve have learnt that ageing is hard work. Younger adults don’t believe that ageing will affect them. However, ageing comes to all of us, and the process of ageing has challenges that no one tells us about until we are older.
Working with older adults is not about curing problems; it is managing these problems and minimising their effect.

The two underlying fears of ageing

1: Mobility

There have been two predominant concerns that have become evident. The first is mobility; losing one’s mobility, increasing the risk of falling, and not moving effectively as you once did really affect our client’s confidence.

A fear of falling is directly responsible for clients becoming isolated, socially withdrawing and accelerated ageing.

“the ability to move or be moved freely and easily.”

Changes in mobility can start as early as a person’s mid-fifties; often, it’s a depth perception issue resulting in an unbalanced event that, at some level, erodes a person’s confidence. This progresses as a person ages, and one of the primary reasons is a loss of muscle mass or sarcopenia. We know some interventions slow the curve, flattening the wasting speed; however, it can’t be reversed over time.

Sarcopenia Definition

“Sarcopenia is a syndrome characterised by progressive and generalised loss of skeletal muscle mass and strength. It is strictly correlated with a physical disability, poorand death. Risk factors for sarcopenia include age, gender and level of physical activity.”

2: Cognitive Decline

The second issue and perhaps the issues of most significant concern to older adults is cognitive decline.

Cognitive decline or mild cognitive impairment is a comprehensive term and encompasses the entire spectrum of mild changes through dementia and Alzheimers. These changes in cognitive decline and the speed of disease progression can be controlled, in part by the lifestyle choices we make now.

Dementia describes a collection of symptoms that are caused by disorders affecting the brain. It is not one specific disease.

Dementia affects thinking, behaviour and the ability to perform everyday tasks. Brain function is affected enough to interfere with the person’s normal social or working life.

Cognitive Decline Definition

“Cognitive decline or Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) causes a slight but noticeable and measurable decline in cognitive abilities, including memory and thinking skills. A person with MCI is at an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s or another dementia.”

Over the next eight weeks, we’ll explore the 7 pillars of ageing and the healthy lifestyle choices we can alter to help you improve the process of ageing.

Part 2: Exercise

Part 3: Sleep

Part 4: Diet and Nutrition

Part 5: Stress Management

Part 6: Mindset

Part 7: Supplements and Medicine

Part 8: Community