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Content archived on 2024-05-24

Physical frailty and loss of functional independence in old age : determinants and adaptations to physical activity (BETTER-AGEING)


Fitness of the motor system is the limiting factor determining the ability of independent living until death. Even amongst the "healthy" old, it is musculoskeletal frailty, which is the limiting factor for mobility, balance and endurance. Clinical correlates of frailty include falls, impairment in activities of daily living and loss of independence. Hence a major effort to understand and mitigate the phenomenon of frailty seems imperative for maintaining mobility inside and outside home, postural stability, preventing falls, ability for self-care, thus preventing social exclusion. BETTER-AGEING aims to research cause and remedies of physical frailty and encourage such actions. It will do so by:
1) researching into the causes of physical frailty from whole body level to single muscle cells,
2) evaluating the effects and benefits of a long-term (12 months) physical training programme common to all European Partners,
3) catalyse the engagement of academic and social partners (regional and local authorities, non-profit organisations, university for the 3rd age) in joint programmes that aim to improve physical fitness and health-related quality of life of the very old.

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