The Frail Elderly: Revelations
It is alarming and impossible to overlook that many of our seniors are frail, living with frailty and it is not a myth but a reality!
Though my senior friend in Honolulu did not suffer from this, I had second thoughts, as she lived alone, and had no family except for the neighbors in the high rise building in downtown!
So It is about right this be part of this week’s educational empowerment, enrichment and encouragement!
Frailty- definition in the
Oxford dictionary (The condition of being weak and delicate),
Merriam Webster dictionary (the quality or state of being frail).
Why does one get frail/ how long does it take to get frail? What is/ are the reason/s for the frailty? What leads to frailty? When can you get frail? Which causes can cause frailty more than the others? To the geriatric patients in my years of practice and in the community, frailty is neither a norm nor a choice! Frail elderly patients are growing by numbers around the world and the causes are many, some known, some unknown. What define it are the deep hidden realities of frailty. Once frail, one is prone to so much more ………. And the wheel cannot be stopped sometimes.
Having practiced in different states in USA and in INDIA, and having visited 4 continents, I must say that Frailty is an issue worldwide, despite advances in machines, operations, skilled professionals and new developments and so on.
Here are some pointers:
1. Take a detailed history.
2. Understand what, where, which, how, when, whom, of the problem.
3. Ask for resources that may have been contacted, discussed prior or in the process.
4. Ask for necessary documents and documentation.
5. Causes of frailty?? Nutritional, movement, fatigue?
6. What is Frailty Index?
7. Clinical Frailty Scale?
8. Needs a CGA (Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment)! Geriatric Specialist Provider ( medical and aging life care and ancillary),
9. Family interview
10. PLAN OF CARE is A MUST!
Lessons Learned: If we do not see what is in front of us, we may never give it a second thought! So a keen sense of vision, smell, taste, hearing, is not enough. One must have a keen intuition to think and process and understand what might be brewing or coming for the senior! It will not be an easy task in the beginning, but with experience and expertise, one will definitely be more beneficial. Senior care is changing, senior care is preventable, senior care needs a cautious approach, one size does not fit all, all and all!
Thank you, from the desk of Health Aim Inc/ Purnima Sreenivasan