Quality of Life
Frailty and quality of life:
Many equate the word “Frailty” to weakness, weight loss, low walking speed, and in turn, with a poor quality of life. There is a misconception in considering a frail older individual as solely having physical limitations, there’s much more to it. A interdisciplinary approach must be considered to address the individuals’ social, psychological, environmental, and physical well being.
As clinicians the focus should be on individuals’ strengths/abilities/interests, in order to help enhance their quality of life. Quality of life can be defined as the general well being of an individual; and of course this is subjective and varies between individuals. It’s a concept that includes areas of physical, health, mental, social performance.
Study on frail older people and quality of life: Vorst 2017
This article incorporates qualitative and quantitative data in order to examine differences in quality of life among the frail older community. The study included individuals 60 years and over living at home. The MoCA (Montreal Cognitive Assessment) was a measured use to assess several cognitive areas: attention, short term memory, working memory, and much more. A further look was also taken to account: individuals home/community environment, physical frailty, psychological frailty, and their social frailty using the CFAI (Comprehensive Frailty Assessment Instrument) which was self administered. And lastly, participants were asked to rate their quality of life. According to Vorts’ 2017, participants were asked to rate the ten questions on a scale of 0 to 100, for example: “How do you feel about life? To what extent do you feel that your life is meaningful?”
Findings from Vorts’ 2017 study:
Vorts’ 2017 study suggest that, “people with perceived higher quality of life had lower levels of psychological frailty; has more effective ways of coping with and/or adapting to difficult situations; showed even if their level of frailty was high, they still perceived themselves as having an enjoyable life and maximizing the strengths they still preserve”. Regardless of someone’s frailty, there are other contributing factors that influences someone’s perceived higher quality of life. Therefore, we must not only focus on their limitations but also on their abilities and find ways to enhance and reinforce the skills they still preserve. The key is the early detection of “frailty” and find ways to strengthen the activities of daily living that are most impacted by their state of frailty.