Calls are made to make frailty detection a part of routine diabetes care


The JBDS-IP policy delivers three important key messages for those who care for the frail elderly inpatient with diabetes.

First, while the management of acute illnesses remains a top priority in the elderly inpatients with diabetes, there is a need for targeted assessment of functional status and detection of frailty to guide further treatment.

Second, frailty can be assessed using quick and easy-to-learn methods that have been well validated in several populations of the elderly, and finally, once frailty is established, other outcome measures such as assessing the risk of hypoglycemia, fall rate, and quality of life must be routine be included in the diabetes care plan along with glycemic goals.

Professor Alan Sinclair, Founder of the Foundation for Diabetes Research in the Elderly (fDROP) said, “Frailty is an important predictor of clinical outcomes and there is growing recognition that early detection of frailty can help slow functional decline. Even so, frailty screening remains poor in most healthcare settings. This may be due in part to the fact that there is no agreed operative definition of frailty. “

In the article, Professor Sinclair praised the work of the National Diabetes Audit (NaDia) and the recent Getting it Right First Time (GIRFT) initiative, but hoped that both these initiatives and similar projects elsewhere would be considered proactively on frailty measures to be introduced “.

Regarding COVID-19 in the elderly, Professor Sinclair said, “With frailty now recognized as a significant predictor of adverse outcomes in hospitalized older adults, it is not surprising that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is the magnitude This association has further highlighted especially among people with diabetes.