Quality of life is improved by the ability to complete the activities of daily life independently.
How are we doing?
1 in 20 San Diego County residents needs help with day to day activities; meaning they have a physical, mental or emotional condition that keeps them from living independently.
How is it measured?
The "Quality of Life" percentage represents the adult population sufficiently healthy to live independently (not including those who reside in nursing homes or other institutions). The "Quality of Life" percentage in The County of San Diego is currently 94.9%; that means 19 out of 20 people are healthy enough to live independently.
Why is it important?
As in other western countries, those aged 65 and older are the fastest growing portion of the population. People are now living longer lives and the ability to live independently is one of the indicators, when measured overtime, that can assess whether there is an increase or reduction in disability or interdependence in the population. Evaluations, such as Blue Zones, Healthy People 2010 and Healthy People 2020, all measure the quality of life as an indicator for success.
Where are we going?
The County of San Diego will campaign for residents to incorporate exercise and physical activity into organizations and programs to affect individually-adapted health behavior changes. Exercise as a ‘prevention strategy’ can prevent disability, even in older adults. The LIFE (Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders) trial showed that a carefully structured, moderate-intensity physical activity program can reduce risk of losing the ability to walk without assistance, perhaps the single most important factor in whether vulnerable older people can maintain their independence. The ability to complete basic daily activities may decrease if illness, chronic disease, or injury limits physical or mental abilities of older adults. Each year, 1 out of 3 older adults falls; ‘Fall Proofing Your Home’ outreach campaigns for seniors & disabled can help reduce this risk. Falls often cause severe disability among survivors, and injuries from falls can lead to:
- sedentary behavior
- impaired function
- lower quality of life