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Old 01-13-2010, 06:55 PM
Location: Tennessee/Michigan
28,223 posts, read 47,651,331 times
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LOS ANGELES, Jan. 13 (UPI) -- A U.S. study suggests participating in volunteer activities may prevent frailty in older adults, researchers say.

Yunkyung Jung, Tara L. Gruenewald, Teresa Seeman and Catherine A. Sarkisian, all of the University of California, Los Angeles, said frailty is a geriatric condition marked by weight loss, low energy and strength and low physical activity.

Volunteering may prevent frailty - UPI.com
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Old 01-14-2010, 12:09 AM
13,334 posts, read 25,596,053 times
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Maybe people who aren't impaired by frailty are more likely to volunteer.
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Old 01-14-2010, 09:27 AM
Location: Sacramento
13,784 posts, read 23,825,651 times
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I hate to be a wet blanket (and it kills my rep points!), but I'm getting really tired of reading all of the poorly structured research projects that I've sifted through for the past few years. I love objective research that sheds light on new ideas, or provides insights we haven't previously considered, but a lot of "research" I've read the past five years is just not sufficiently objective. Frankly, much of it seems to be rather manipulative. In this case, I'm suspicious about this report, and the Administration push for volunteerism.

And I state this as a retiree who does volunteer work.

First off, the study was funded by the National Institute on Aging, which is part of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). NIH has a division called the Division of Behavioral and Social Research, that funds academic studies falling within their area of interest.

This study observed folks who already had already decided to either volunteer, do child care assistance or work for pay, and then see how they aged compared to those who decided to not do any of these activities. What this means is that selected study participants had a predisposition towards those types of interest, and if you are really going to evaluate this correctly you need to consider the existing physical conditions within making these specific choices. In other words, did folks who didn't feel well physically decide against volunteering, meaning, the volunteers could have had a higher baseline of physical health to being with, not as a result of the volunteer work?

Even within the study itself, it includes this critical observation:

The study suggests that participating in volunteer activities may prevent frailty in older adults. A randomized trial is needed to determine whether volunteering itself prevents the onset of frailty, or if there is something about the types of people who volunteer regularly that keeps them from becoming frail.

So.....the "press reporting" on the study is basically......garbage (yet again).
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Old 01-14-2010, 02:17 PM
Location: Indiana
324 posts, read 506,407 times
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Oh, we are going to unnecessary complications here...

Any activity (volunteering or something else) helps to keep retirees in a good shape (frailty or/and other things).
Simple as that.
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