How to Keep a Frail Senior Healthy and Happy

Beacon of LIFE, in Oceanport, NJ, is a government-approved PACE program that allows frail seniors — those who are certified as meeting the need for nursing home level of care— the ability to live healthy lives in their own homes.

Hard to believe? It’s true. We do it by prioritizing preventive care, and by having everything our participants need onsite in our facility. Not just their doctors and not just their physical therapists, even their dentists, and even their hair stylists!

And what if they can’t get to our facility? We provide the transportation. We bring our participants to our center, as well as to any medical appointments they have with specialists at other locations. We even provide an assistant to go with the member if they need someone with them at the appointment.

We also make sure our participants have a healthy diet, by providing nutritional guidance (and daily meals!), even delivering meals to their homes if required.

We even encourage physical activity among this frail group, offering yoga, chair exercise — and even line dancing — further bolstering their physical and emotional health.

Think physical exercise is too much for people so infirm? While medical clearance is obviously required before any older person can start a physical exercise regimen, recent research, published in The BMJ,  shows that individuals as old as 79 and had been completely inactive for long periods of time saw significant benefits from beginning an exercise program.

According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services it is recommended that adults engage in at least 2 1/2 hours per week of moderately intensive exercise. The researchers of the current study determined that an individual who is currently completely inactive and gradually becomes active over a five-year period, eventually reaching the recommended minimum level of exercise (two and half hours per week), would cut their risk of premature death from any cause by 24%.

This same level of exercise correlates with a nearly 30% lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease, the nation’s number one killer. The greatest benefits in terms of health and longevity occurred among the individuals who had the highest levels of physical activity. A statistical analysis of these individual showed that they were 42% less likely to die prematurely from any cause.

According to the authors of the study, “These results are encouraging especially for middle aged and older adults with existing cardiovascular disease and cancer, who can still gain substantial longevity benefits by becoming more active, lending further support to the broad public health benefits of physical activity.”

Beacon of LIFE maintains an interdisciplinary team of professionals who give each client the coordinated care they need. Our staff specialize in working with older people, and work with each client and their family to develop the most effective plan of care.

We provide a variety of services, including primary care, hospital care, medical specialty services, prescription drugs, nursing home care, emergency services, home care, physical therapy, occupational therapy, adult day care, recreational therapy, meals, dentistry, nutritional counseling, social services, laboratory / X-ray services, social work counseling, and transportation.

Our care and services allow people who would otherwise need to live in a nursing home to live where they want — in their own communities, in their own homes.

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