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Helping Hands, Stronger Hands – by Galia Myron

Written by Galia Myron Thursday, 14 January 2010 13:55

Elderly volunteers are less likely to suffer from frailty than their peers who work for pay.


Volunteering may provide protection against frailty as we age, says a study from UCLA that found that when compared to child care and working for pay. Frailty in the elderly involved weight loss, low energy and strength, and low physical activity. The study examined 1.072 healthy adults aged 70 to 79 between 1988 and 1991 to determine which activities are most likely to prevent frailty. After controlling for levels of physcial and cognitive function, researchers found that only volunteering offered anti-frailty benefits to seniors.

“It’s important to remember that as we age, one of the most psychological tasks for optimum mental health–particularly after retirement–is to have a sense of purpose,” Ken Howard, LCSW, explains. 

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