CFN updates CIHR Institute of Aging on frailty health impacts

June 1, 2015

Dr. John Muscedere recently gave a presentation on aging within a frailty health context to the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Institute of Aging Advisory Board.

Dr. Muscedere spoke on the interconnection between aging and frailty; explaining that the decline in a person’s health status and increasing use of health care is driven more by frailty than advancing years. He described the sharp rise in the number of older Canadians considered frail, and how Canada’s health care model does not align well with the broader care needs of our frail elderly population. 

Medical technologies provide the opportunity to make major advances in treatment of older patients, he explained, however, the impact on actual patient preferences and health outcomes of newer treatments and therapies is largely unknown. 

The CFN scientific director described CFN’s research, knowledge mobilization and citizen engagement efforts to evolve consensus on a working, clinical definition of frailty and the tenets of frailty assessment. He says that frailty assessment, in particular, has the potential to be a major catalyst for care interventions that may improve the health and quality of life of older people, delay disability and slow progression of disease, and help avoid unnecessary hospitalization and institutional care.