Can a simple test help older people maintain their independence?

Can a simple test help older people maintain their independence? Can a simple test help older people maintain their independence?

January 26, 20182 min read

New research from Australia has shown impressive advancements in determining the risk of frailty among older people, as well as informing how older people can maintain their independence and health.

What does it all come down to? A simple online test, according to Australia's Minister for Aged Care Ken Wyatt.

From a media release issued by the Australian government:

"The Australian-first study, conducted by aged care provider Benetas, [guided] 3,000 home-dwelling seniors aged 65 and over through the FRAIL Questionnaire Screening Tool test, targeting Fatigue, Resistance, Ambulation Illnesses and Loss of Weight (FRAIL)."

Noteworthy findings from the study included that 38 per cent of participants fell into the "pre-frail" category; that slightly more than half (56%) were categorized as "robust;" and notably, that women were found to have a much higher rate of frailty than men - with half the women surveyed being categorized as frail or pre-frail, compared to less than 40% of the male participants.

According to Minister Wyatt "[t]he results show frailty is not present in all seniors surveyed, suggesting it is not an inevitable result of ageing and may be prevented or treated."

So, what does this study mean in practice, and can it be applied to countries outside of Australia?

Will other governments adopt similar surveys or tests?

Could this be a viable solution for issues like housing and hospitalization for ageing populations?

That's where the experts from the International Federation on Ageing come in. Click one of the icons below to arrange an interview with an expert today.


Connect with:
  • Prof. Denise Eldemire-Shearer
    Prof. Denise Eldemire-Shearer Professor of Public Health and Ageing

    Denise Eldemire-Shearer is Professor of Public Health and Ageing at the University of the West Indies.

  • Dr. Samir K. Sinha
    Dr. Samir K. Sinha Director of Geriatrics

    Dr. Samir Sinha is a passionate and respected advocate for the needs of older adults

  • Dr. Margaret Neal
    Dr. Margaret Neal Director, Institute on Aging

    Dr. Neal is Director of the Institute on Aging and Professor of Community Health at Portland State University.

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