Frailty is a state of physiological deterioration and reduced ability to respond to stressors, ultimately leading to increased risk for poor outcomes including falls, disability, hospitalization, and mortality. Although many medical and physiology-based frailty theories exist, none are specific to advanced practice nurses. Further theoretical models are needed to address the care that older adults require, as aging itself is a risk factor for frailty. The purpose of this presentation is to inform the advanced practice nurse on critical aspects of care for the older adult. A theoretical model will be used to explain the frailty process and interventions that may help to avoid, stabilize, or reverse frailty.
A review of the literature was conducted in order to identify gaps in the frailty literature as it pertains to care of the older adult. The author also reviewed current literature to determine the most important aspects of caring for the older adult who is frail or at risk for frailty.
The author developed the frailty care model to address the need for tools that help nursing professionals identify and care for the older adult who is frail or at risk for frailty. The frailty care model illustrates a theory that states: frailty is a fluid condition of aging that will respond to interventions and will progress in the absence of interventions. It is an evidence-based model that helps the advanced practice nurse identify important aspects of frailty assessments, which can be easily integrated into the workflow of the medical encounter and require little additional time or resources.
This presentation will utilize the frailty care model and a vignette to engage the learners. Assessment, interventions, diagnosis, and evaluation specific to the older adult who is frail or at risk for frailty will be discussed, The learner will be able to identify causes of frailty, instruments used for screening, appropriate interventions, and anticipated outcomes related to interventions. Finally, the learner will be encouraged to keep frailty in mind with every encounter with an older adult and will understand the importance of intervening as early as possible.
After completing this learning activity, the participant will be able to assess innovations being used by other professionals in the specialty and evaluate the potential of implementing the improvements into practice.