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Frailty

Frailty is “a distinctive health state related to the ageing process in which multiple body systems gradually lose their in-built reserves”.[1]  Frailty is not an inevitable part of ageing, but an under recognised health state.  Older people with frailty are more vulnerable to minor illnesses and are at an increased risk of hospitalisation, admission to a care home and death. 

It is estimated that in 2016 there were 4,600 people aged 65 and over with frailty living in the community in Herefordshire.  However, this does not take into account the number of people with frailty living in care homes.   By 2035, the number of people aged 65 and over with frailty living in the community in Herefordshire is estimated to rise by approximately 67 per cent to approximately 7,700 people. 

Fragmented health and social care services are known to cause poor outcomes for older people with frailty.  Benchmarking results indicate that there is room for improvement, particularly in the provision of rapid crisis support and discharge planning.  Those who participated in the benchmarking exercise spoke of the commitment to improvement that exists among those who work within the health and social care system.  Actions are currently being taken to put in place a local integrated care pathway for the management of people with frailty, resultant improvements should be evident were this benchmarking exercise to be repeated in the future. 



Last updated: Thursday, August 23, 2018