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Older people (including frailty) Frailty - introduction

Frailty is more common in those aged over 85 years compared to those between 65 and 85 years.

Frailty in older adults is a late-life vulnerability that contributes to increased risk for poor outcomes.

Frailty is a state of decline in late life in which multiple body systems gradually lose their in-built reserves.

The term 'frail' is used to recognize and identify vulnerable individuals undergoing medical or surgical interventions.

There is no gold standard for diagnosing frailty. Importantly, old age itself does not define frailty. Some patients remain vigorous, despite advanced age, while others have gradual but unrelenting functional decline in the absence of apparent stress factors, or fail to rebound following illness or hospitalization.

For the older person there is a difference between frailty, long term conditions and disability.

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