The concept of frailty – gerastenia or how to understand the needs of the geriatric patient

Author: Nenad Bogdanović, Ksenija Arbanas Kovačević, Vedrana Rugole

The introduction of the concept of frailty or gerastenia identifies older people, often with multimorbidity, who are in particular need of a multidimensional care. Frailty or gerastenia means a state of accelerated biological aging where the body gradually loses the ability to manage physical, psychological and social demands. Frailty or gerastenia is a dynamic condition that can be partially prevented and treated with exercise, diet and reduction of unnecessary polypharmacy. There are several validated simple risk assessment instruments for frailty that can be used in either primary or secondary health care by all stakeholders in a multidisciplinary approach to the ill older person. The main purpose of frailty or gerastenia assessment is to identify elderly people who need a precise health assessment using a holistic perspective. A correct and timely assessment of frailty allows planning the best conditions for continuous care and maximizing the quality of life of the person, as well as avoiding negative consequences to the health.

Key words:
cognitive impairment; frailty, frailty scale; gerastenia; malnutrition; sarcopenia