Frailty in Gerontology and Geriatrics

Summary

Frailty is one of the common negative outcomes of aging. It is explained by age-related changes of the immune system and the inability of the body to control all inflammation processes. In their article, Wilson, Jackson, Sapey, and Lord (2017) explain that frailty, as well as sarcopenia, share the same inflammatory drivers and increased interleukin, known as inflammation. The concept of frailty is characterized by reduced physiologic functions and increased dependency or even death.

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Frailty in Gerontology and Geriatrics

The Frailty Index and the Frailty Phenotype are important aspects in investigating the role of frailty among older patients. Researchers in gerontology use them as a strong method to identify frailty and its risks for patients. Gerontologists consider this concept as a part of a comparison of geriatric syndromes (Bone, Hepgul, Kon, & Maddocks, 2017). In their attempts to diagnose, treat, and prevent complications in older people, geriatricians rely on it to lessen pain and predict the conditions when frail elderly patients start suffering from functional decline. Geriatricians who work in the clinical arena judge patients as frail more frequently compared to family physicians and other practitioners due to their skills to evaluate information in a different specific way.

Ideal of Frailty

The concept of frailty in gerontology has already gained popularity because of the presence of multiple factors of general debilitation. However, it is not the only field where frailty has to be used. General practitioners are interested in the development of this condition as it directly influences the development of acute and chronic illnesses. The use in the allergy and immunology field is based on the idea of possible adverse drug reactions and the necessity to decrease pain and control abnormalities.

References

Bone, A. E., Hepgul, N., Kon, S., Maddocks, M. (2017). Sarcopenia and frailty in chronic respiratory disease: Lessons from gerontology. Chronic Respiratory Disease, 14(1), 85-99. Web.

Wilson, D., Jackson, T., Sapey, E., & Lord, J. M. (2017). Frailty and sarcopenia: The potential role of an aged immune system. Ageing Research Reviews, 36, 1-10. Web.

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