A new frailty index aims to improve outcomes in elderly care and health of vulnerable elderly Australians.
Developed and validated by the SAHMRI-based Register of Elderly Australians (ROSA) The frailty index project was directed by ROSA and Flinders University The research assistant Dr. Jyoti Khadka stated that the ability to measure frailty at the population level should bring broad benefits across the elderly care sector.
“This index can accurately predict a person’s risk of death and the likelihood that they will need long-term elderly care in a dormitory,” said Dr. Khadka.
“This is extremely important information as frailty can be treated or prevented. Recognizing risks allows for timely treatment with relatively simple means such as diet and physical and mental exercise. “
Medically speaking, frailty is defined as a state of heightened weakness and susceptibility to harmful consequences such as falls, injuries, addiction, hospitalization, institutionalization and death.
Professor Renuka Visvanathan, a recognized expert in geriatrics, said the use of the index can be included in the more than 186,000 aged care proficiency tests currently conducted by an aged care assessment team each year.
“Assessing a person’s frailty at this important point in their journey into elderly care can be used to identify those who may receive additional support to reduce the risk of adverse events like hospitalizations,” she said.
“There is increasing interest in assessment programs that use electronic systems, such as our Australian Elderly Care Proficiency Tests, which are supported by My elderly care. This can lead to a risk of frailty until the end of an assessment with the elderly person. “
The frailty index was developed using historical data involving more than 900,000 senior Australians. The process behind its development is published in the Medical Journal of Australia.
Dr. Khadka said the index had already proven to be extremely valuable from a research perspective in several ROSA projects.
“For example a study that was recently published in the journal bone used the index to demonstrate how frailty changes the risk of death, functional impairment and higher care for the elderly after a hip fracture, ”he said.
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