When I was a practicing surgeon, there was a mystery. An 80-year-old patient does well after surgery but a 60-year-old doesn’t…. why is that? One of the answers is frailty
Frailty is not merely aging or losing weight -it’s a defined medical condition. The official definition is:
Frailty is a, chronic state of dysregulation of multiple physiological systems, such that homeostasis is impaired and vulnerability is heightened for adverse health outcome.
Our test: -took about 5 minutes
- Basic ADL (Activities of daily living-e.g. showering, brushing teeth etc.)
- Depression screen (using a t 2- item test called the PHQ)
- Exhaustion (are you unable to do things that you were able to a month ago)
- Weight loss-unintentional.
5.. Walking speed- (Walking 15 feet in: ≤7 sec for height ≤ 5 ft. or ≤6 sec for height >5 ft.)
- Cognitive function (Remember 3 unrelated words)
We found was 2 things-patients who tested positive for frailty. They had 1.Longer Length of stay in the hospital; 2. Increased readmissions back to the hospital.
Of the six items, patients scoring poorly on their cognitive assessment or a slow walking speed had the worst outcome
What can you do to identify frailty?
Do you have three out of the five following: Then you can identify yourself as being frail: unintentional weight loss; feelings of exhaustion; weakness; slow walking speed and low levels of physical activity.
What can you do?
Do cognitive exercises. (examples: free apps, crossword puzzles, Sudoku)
Try to stay active every day and eat well