What is frailty?

Frailty isn’t simply getting older. The risk of becoming frail increases with age, but the two are not the same. Those living with frailty are at higher risk for deterioration of their health and death than what is expected based on their age alone.

Frailty is a state of health where the person’s overall well-being and ability to function independently are reduced and vulnerability to deterioration are increased. People who are frail tend to spend more time in hospital, are less likely to return to their own home, are more likely to need care support if they do go home and are also likely to have extended stays in long-term care.

Older adults living with frailty and their family/friend caregivers need holistic approaches that treat the entire person and health challenges in a coordinated, caring manner.