Frailty is a term that is often used in clinical or research settings to describe someone who has less ability to recover from disease or illness, someone who has less reserve and is more vulnerable.
Frailty can occur at any age but it gets more common as we get older. Being frail also makes us more likely to need additional care such as care at home or hospital care. But the good news is that frailty can be modified, it can be stabilised or even reversed.
Our team has several projects that are investigating frailty, from understanding the best ways to measure and approach frailty in community settings to testing ways that we might be able to reduce it. Our current projects are shown below:
In the INTERACTION trial led by Associate Professor Ruth Peters, we are collecting data to help us understand whether an intergenerational program (that is bringing older adults and pre-schoolers together to complete purposeful structured activities) helps to reduce frailty in the older adults. We are also measuring what happens to the children as we think it will help them with things like school readiness.
Associated people: Ruth Peters, Ebony Lewis, Mae Lim, Christine Zammit, Nicole Ee, Gail Kenning.
Understanding frailty in Indigenous populations
In this study led by Ebony Lewis, we are mapping the rates of frailty in Indigenous adults, looking at what proportion of people have frailty, what proportion are developing frailty over time and what that means for future engagement and care.
Project 1 – Views that older First Nations people hold about frailty
To understand the views that older Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in Sydney hold about frailty and any needs and suggestions around frailty and ageing to support health and wellbeing as people age
Project 2 – Incidence and prevalence of frailty in First Nations Peoples in New South Wales
To describe the frailty profile of older Aboriginal and Torres Strait people using data from a population-based cohort in NSW
In this study led by Associate Professor Ruth Peters, we are looking at whether frailty mediates the impact of blood pressure-lowering medication. This is important since both high blood pressure and frailty become more common as we get older.