MÂª Carmen Gómez Cabrera and José Viña, full professors of the Physiology Department of the University of Valencia and researchers from the INCLIVA Health Research Institute, direct the Improvement Program project, with the aim of planning physical exercise and reducing frailty, a geriatric syndrome that generates greater dependency and decreased quality of life. The proposal, presented this Thursday and promoted by INCLIVA and the Valencia CF Foundation, is aimed at people over 70 years of age and seeks the reversal of frailty and the prevention of the risk of falls.
The project, which will be carried out throughout this year and is already innovative from a scientific point of view, is also a milestone in the field of sport since a top-level sports club promotes and encourages the practice of sports in the elderly, as former players and members of the VCF participate in it.
The physical exercise program of this project will be made up of a combination of resistance, strength, coordination, balance and flexibility exercises, and will be personalised with the help of the latest technologies in this field, in order to guarantee its practical applicability in any sociosanitary context. Recruitment will initially be carried out among former VCF players over 70 years of age and with a functional status of frailty or pre-frailty.
Frailty is characterised by a reduced ability to respond to minor stresses due to a decline in functional reserves, which affects approximately 33% of the population over 80 years of age and which, if not prevented or treated, increases the risk of disability, hospitalization and death. Spain is one of the five countries of the European Union with the highest number of people at risk of developing frailty. A dependent elderly person implies 14,000 euros a year from the socio-sanitary point of view, compared to 650 for a vigorous elderly person.
Viña and Gómez Cabrera are coordinators of the INCLIVA Research Group on Aging and Physical Exercise, and of the Exercise and Nutrition and Healthy Lifestyle Group, respectively. Also from the FRESHAGE group (Age and Exercise Research Group), from the University of Valencia, dedicated to research into intervention strategies to guarantee healthy aging, and from CIBERFES (Biomedical Research Centre on Frailty and Healthy Aging Network), from the Carlos III Health Institute.