Muscle dysfunction suffered by third of care home residents

Date Published: 23 Sep 2014 @ 10:59 AM
Article By: Julia Corbett, News Editor

Up to a third of residents might be living with Sarcopenia, a health condition linked with an increased risk of falls and functional dependence, in care homes in the UK.

A report into Sarcopenia shows it may currently affect one in 20 adults and a third of residents. The National Sarcopenia Initiative has been launched to educate and offer positive recommendations for those living with the condition, which affects the strength and function of muscles in sufferers.

The International Sarcopenia Initiative is campaigning to increase screening in both community and care settings to increase diagnosis and get appropriate help for people living with the condition.

Professor Alfonso Cruz-Jentoft, corresponding author of the report and co-chair of the International Sarcopenia Initiative said: “Sarcopenia is an important concept through which to understand and combat frailty and dependence in old adults; it associates with negative clinical outcomes, for example difficulties in ADL (Activities in Daily Living), extended hospital stays and mortality.

“This report provides important new information to understand the condition, and underscores the importance of preventative and clinical management strategies for the prevention and treatment of Sarcopenia.”

Muscle loss was historically believed to be an inevitable part of ageing which could not be reduced, however scientists now believe there are ways to slow the loss of muscle strength and mass caused by Sarcopenia in older people.

Exercise such as resistance and endurance training and an increased diet containing proteins and essential amino acids were found to be successful treatments for managing the condition.

The report will be published by Oxford University Press the in Age and Aging journal on behalf of the British Geriatric Society.

The British Geriatric society is the only UK society which offers specialist medical expertise for older people on a range of health topics and has over 2,700 members worldwide.

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