What constitutes frailty? You may be surprised by the extent of the answer. Frailty score is a value related to the number of challenges or deficits one has.
Interestingly, frailty is not necessarily measured by age or disease states.
Frailty scores vary. Some scales look at everyday function and if you are able to care for yourself, shop, walk outside or use assistive devices. Others consider cognition and the ability to lift a bag of groceries. Regardless of the scale used, frailty conversations are important to have with those that care for you and with your health care providers.
The higher the number of frailty factors means a higher frailty score. The higher the frailty score, the higher the risk that one will not be able to recover fully from a stressor such as a fall, illness, or side effects from medications.
It’s not all bad news. Frailty scores can improve, by taking healthy steps of eating a healthy diet, moving, balance and strength training, socializing, and learning something new. Take a step at a time. Adding a few more steps each day, simple balance exercises (holding on to a chair or counter is not cheating!), connecting with someone through a call or a letter, and reading something new to you (a new type of book), or trying a new craft, may all be beneficial.
Check your frailty score at your next physical and speak with your health care providers on how you may be able to improve your score. Evaluate the medications you take with your health care providers to see if you may be experiencing side effects or if any of your medications may be limiting your abilities due to dizziness, weakness, fatigue, and any other concerns you may have. Use the templates for evaluating your medications with your health care provider. Click on the templates tab of this website.
Of course, vitality is the goal but checking frailty may help set goals to stay vital.
Stay WISE and WELL in 2022! Continue to check my website or sign up for updates. Read my previous blogs too, to help with managing your medications and to learn more about deprescribing.