The aim of this module is to provide an overview of the clinical syndrome of frailty, how it can be considered and managed as a long-term condition. The nurse's role in supporting frail older people to avoid or delay adverse outcomes and live well to the end of life is explained.
Frailty is a clinical syndrome that focuses on loss of reserve, energy and wellbeing. Older people with frailty tend to present late and often in crisis to health and care services so their care may be hospital-based, episodic and unplanned. Frailty should be reframed as a long-term condition that can be managed proactively in primary and community settings by supported self-management and person-centred care. Nurses play a vital role as key workers, care co-ordinators and supporters to patients and their carers at all stages of the frailty trajectory.