JFSF Vol 4, No 2, June 2019, p.30-35
Integrating functional ageing into daily clinical practice
Jean-Pierre Michel1, Fiona Ecarnot2
- University of Geneva, Switzerland and French Academy of Medicine, Paris, France
- University of Franche-Comté, Besançon, France
Keywords: Ageing, Daily functioning, Chronic diseases, Disability, Prevention
The analysis of the ageing trajectory clearly demonstrates the constant involvement of functional ability in daily life, from its development in youth, to its preservation through midlife into very old age. While maintaining function appears to be largely related to persistent regular exercise, the risk factors for functional decline are extremely diverse, ranging from a decrease or discontinuation of physical activity, to nutritional/metabolic disturbances, chronic diseases and unfavourable socio-demographic and socio-economic contexts. Prevention of functional decline is a major public health challenge, both for individuals and for society as a whole, and needs to be urgently addressed. Engaging citizens to be conscious of their responsibility for, and role in their own ageing process is equally as important as reinforcing the involvement of society in promoting healthy ageing through enhanced basic and health education, promotion of a healthy diet, long term practice of moderate physical activity, and the continual battle against deleterious life habits and behaviours. The success of these combined actions would be quite simply demonstrated by a change from the current pandemics of morbidity, to the compression of disability, which is expected by all.