Kinesiology is the study of movement and we learn a lot about the powerful role of physical activity on overall health and well-being throughout the lifespan.
Behavioral, social, cognitive, and physical changes that aging populations experience influence the level of engagement or functional capability in activities of daily living. Considering the decline of physical fitness (strength, endurance, agility, and flexibility) associated with aging, the positive impact of being physically active cannot be understated. It is a very effective intervention!
Elderly individuals who are not physically active face increased risk for a 40% reduction in joint motion and muscle mass, which is related to muscular strength decline (Milanović, Zoran et al., 2013). Such physical, age-related consequences along with other chronic health problems result in heightened difficulties in functional completion of normal, everyday activities of the elderly.
To achieve independent living and prevention of disease, it is important to recognize the role of physical activity on health and well-being. Lifestyle changes can foster healthy aging in the face of increasing challenges connected with aging.
Compression of functional decline, CFD, is a model that presents the process of aging through trajectories of hierarchical order of loss of specific activities (Gore, Peter G et al., 2018).
Compression of functional decline really means prolonging aging adults’ healthy years of living. – something pretty much everyone wants- not just living longer but living healthily.
Elderly individuals often experience fear and avoidance associated with disability and dependence, but activity disengagement negatively influences rate and risk for health decline. Acknowledging the impact of lifestyle changes in behavior is essential in the pursuit of maximizing healthy years. Healthy behaviors can create more horizontal trajectories (longer years of health and wellness), which is represented by the CFD framework:
As shown in the figure, trajectory 1 represents a faster progression of decreased capability to perform activities of daily living. Trajectory 2 represents the maintenance of higher levels of capability for a longer progression of time, which is CFD’s goal: to shift trajectory 1 towards trajectory 2 so individuals can ultimately live well longer (Gore, Peter G et al., 2018).
La Casa is working to alter the aging trajectory of users in this way to aid in the promotion of healthy aging thereby reducing care dependence. Using AI based home-care technology to aggregate activities of daily living, ambient and health data for actionable insights combined with automated wellbeing interventions, La Casa works with both service users themselves and healthcare providers to empower and help individuals prolong their healthy years, and thus, promote overall sense of well-being. Doing so empowers individuals to reduce care dependence and avoid associated costs. Beyond disease management, compressing rate of decline through measures of prevention is an essential aspect of improving quality of life by prolonging healthy years. Now that sounds like something to smile about 😊