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长辈突然变瘦要警惕?5种现象是衰弱症征兆

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想变瘦是很多人的愿望,然而,如果长辈不明原因地体重减轻,却有可能是衰弱症征兆。65岁以上老年人体重减轻、走路越来越慢、手部越来越没力气、身体活动变差,这些都是衰弱症的表现。

5种现象,可能是衰弱症征兆

衰弱症不是疾病,是指身体功能状况缓慢、渐进地衰退。预防衰弱症,是面对高龄社会的重要课题。

老年医学科主任方诗琁表示,衰弱症可透过量表评估,五大指标分别是:

● 非刻意的体重明显减轻

● 肌力下降

● 走路缓慢

● 倦怠感

● 低身体活动量

65岁以上的长辈,需要留心这些症状。5项指标只要符合3项,就可称为衰弱症;符合1~2项,则是衰弱症前期。有衰弱症前期症状,就应该到医院做进一步评估检查。

医院举办“高龄体验营” 让志工感受长辈不便

长辈身体逐渐衰弱的不适,家中晚辈可能很难体会。在即将来临的祖父母节(每年8月第4个星期日)前夕,联新国际医院举办“高龄模拟体验营”,让民众穿戴特殊装备,体验高龄者身体机能退化后的种种不便,希望社会对长辈给予更多的尊重与同理心。

联新国际医院的50位员工与学生志工,穿戴特殊装备模拟驼背、膝盖无力,明显感觉走路和上下楼梯变得吃力;带上模拟眼镜后,眼前一片泛黄模糊,买东西会拿错硬币,阅读书报杂志和门诊表都看不清楚;他们还戴着厚手套拿筷子、穿衣服,体验老人家关节退化的不便;最后是肌力弱化体验,搭配音乐跳健康操,几乎所有人动作都跟不上节拍,乱跳一通。

穿戴特殊装备后,搭配音乐跳健康操,几乎所有人动作都跟不上节拍,体验体验老人家关节退化的不便。

参与体验的护理长薛雅文说,在模拟过程中,感受老化后穿衣、如厕、使用筷子、写字的动作不便与限制,视力退化后连填写初诊表都有困难,需要别人协助。她体悟到,自己身为护理人员更应该多一份同理心,协助长者顺利就医。

高龄模拟体验营,让民众戴上模拟眼镜后,眼前一片泛黄模糊。

如何改善衰弱症?

若要改善衰弱症,长辈应多注意饮食均衡与营养摄取,可摄取牛奶、蛋、豆类、肉类等蛋白质含量较多的食物。另外,应适度运动,搭配复健训练,帮助手部、腿部等力量恢复。

有些慢性病容易造成或恶化衰弱症,像是糖尿病、高血压、心脏病、慢性肾脏病、贫血、失智、中风、忧郁、营养不良及慢性阻塞性肺病等,可以一并治疗。

衰弱症及早发现并治疗改善,有机会回复到之前的状况,甚至让身体机能更好。◇

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