Feature Article

Focus on frailty: essential as the population ages

Olga Theou, Solomon CY Yu, Kenneth Rockwood, Renuka Visvanathan



We can no longer afford to ignore the problem of frailty. Older adults must be screened objectively for frailty in primary care. Multiple interventions are likely to be necessary, including attention to good nutrition and physical activity.

Key Points

  • Frailty screening can help identify older people with multiple interacting medical and social problems who require comprehensive assessment.
  • Adaptations of care processes, personalisation of interventions and modifications of standard protocols will benefit frail older patients.
  • Screening and assessment for frailty should begin in general practice, supporting early recognition and complex management.
  • Good nutrition, including adequate protein intake, is important in preserving muscle health.
  • For frail older people, any physical activity is better than none, and there should be a focus on limiting sedentary behaviour.

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