Reducing Frailty

Research Project Title

Reducing Frailty

Principal Investigator

Research outline

Life expectancy has increased in New Zealand and it is estimated 16.5% of the population will be aged over 65 by the mid-2020s.

Staying UPright and Eating well Research (SUPER), aims to test the impact and cost-effectiveness of physical activity and/or nutrition, and social group attendance, to reduce frailty and falls of older people.

Frailty is a multidimensional geriatric syndrome involving several inter-related physiological systems.  It is a precursor to functional loss and results in considerably increased risk for health care needs.

600 pre-frail older people to participate have been invited, including Māori aged 60+ and non-Māori aged 75+, living in Whangarei, Howick, Tauranga, and Invercargill.

Participants will enroll in weekly group sessions, over 10 weeks.

The groups are:

  • Strength and balancing exercise (Steady As You Go—SAYGO)
  • Nutrition and cooking class (Senior Chef)
  • A combination of SAYGO and Senior Chef (Combo)
  • Social activities (Social—groups gather for company and crafts, games, music or reading).

The SUPER project aligns with the Ageing Well National Science Challenge mission by forestalling the development of frailty. This enables maintenance of independence. Preventing falls reduces disability and the related adverse impacts of poor health outcomes for older people.

Anticipated end date: June 2019

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