What is frailty that leads to nursing care? Self check first

One thing to be aware of as you age is frailty. Frailty can also lead to a weakened immune system, so you need to be careful especially when infectious diseases are prevalent. Start working on pre-frailty prevention in your 50s and frailty prevention for elderly parents right now.

What is frailty that leads to nursing care?

Table of contents

  • What is “frailty” that leads to long-term care?
  • Check in 5 seconds to see if you’re losing muscle! “Ring test”
  • If you are over 60, you should be more careful about “new malnutrition” than obesity

What is “frailty” that leads to long-term care?

Frailty is a state intermediate between being healthy and requiring long-term care, and is said to affect at least 2.5 million people in Japan. In an era of 100-year lifespans, a study conducted by the University of Tokyo on approximately 2,000 elderly people revealed that the best way to avoid needing long-term care is to prevent frailty, which is just one step away from needing long-term care. rice field.

According to Katsuya Iijima, Director of the Institute of Gerontology and Professor of the Future Vision Research Center, the University of Tokyo, “To avoid becoming bedridden or requiring nursing care, we want to be aware of the decline in oral function, ‘oral frailty’, and aging. The loss of muscle is called sarcopenia. Mr. Iijima taught me about sarcopenia as a way to prevent pre-frailty and frailty in people in their 50s and 60s.

Check in 5 seconds to see if you’re losing muscle! “Ring test”

First, try the “ring test” (above) that can easily determine the risk of sarcopenia. People with “gaps” may have sarcopenia.

1. Circle the thumbs and forefingers of both hands.

Circle the thumbs and forefingers of both hands

2. Gently squeeze the widest part of your non-dominant calf.

Gently squeeze the widest part of the calf of your non-dominant leg.


The University of Tokyo Institute of Gerontology is conducting a research study called the “Kashiwa Study” targeting 2,044 healthy people aged 65 and over (average age 73) living in Kashiwa City, Chiba Prefecture. In the Kashiwa Study, a 4-year follow-up study showed that people who were able to create gaps after the test were twice as likely to need nursing care and had a 3.2 times higher mortality rate than those who were not able to. results show that it is also higher.

“When sarcopenia develops, the risk of falls and bone fractures increases, and the risk of developing dementia also increases, making it easier for people to require nursing care. Be careful, even if you are in your 50s, you may be at risk of developing sarcopenia,” says Iijima.

If you are over 60, you should be more careful about “new malnutrition” than obesity

One factor that has been attracting attention in recent years as one of the causes of muscle loss is the “new type of malnutrition” (undernutrition), in which people lose weight without realizing it because they are undernourished despite eating three meals a day. Undernutrition not only leads to sluggishness, low body temperature and low blood pressure, but also weakens the immune system, making it easier to get sick.

BMI is a measure of physique that is a measure of whether or not you are getting enough nutrition.

BMI = Weight (kg) ÷ [Height (m) x Height (m)]
Example: If you are 160 cm tall and weigh 55 kg, 55 ÷ (1.6 x 1.6) = 21.5

If your calves are narrow enough to give a gap on the ring or test, or if your BMI is less than 20, you may be malnourished.

The new type of malnutrition is scary because it leads to sarcopenia due to a decrease in muscle mass due to malnutrition and a decrease in the amount of food consumed, which leads to a vicious cycle in which basal metabolism and energy consumption decrease. This increases the risk of physical frailty and long-term care needs.

An 11-year follow-up study of approximately 27,000 Japanese aged 65-75 reported that those with a BMI of less than 20 had a higher risk of death. Especially in the case of women, many tend to want to lose weight even in their 70s and 80s.

“For people in their 40s and 50s, countermeasures against metabolic syndrome are important, but after 60s, unless you are extremely overweight, you need to change your mind and think that losing weight is dangerous. To prevent frailty, you should not go on a diet. Rather, it is better to change gears in the direction of eating well and building muscle,” says Iijima.

It is necessary to review your diet to see if you are avoiding important nutrients such as meat and eggs that are the basis of muscle because you want to lose weight.

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