Speaking of researching the obvious…
Researchers recently found that frailer older patients are at a higher risk of readmission or death than less frail patients after they’re discharged from the hospital.
Yet despite the “duh,” I’m letting you know about this study because there IS actually some good news here: A “Clinical Frailty Scale” (developed several years ago, but not in wide use) can help medical professionals determine who is at greatest risk, after leaving the hospital.
And that’s good news, in order to ensure more effective follow-up. Not to mention the opportunity to take pro-active precautions in advance.
Here’s a little on how the score works: a score of 5 represents “mild frailty” (difficulty with 1 or more daily activities like food shopping, cooking and housework). “Moderate frailty” (indicated by a score of 6) indicates difficulty completing even more elemental tasks, like bathing or dressing. Severe frailty (a score of 7) means a person depends on someone else for 3 or more essential daily activities.
Of the 495 patients enrolled in the study (half men and half women, median age 64), one-third (162) were deemed frail (i.e., a score of 5 or higher on the Clinical Frailty Scale).
When these patients were compared with non-frail patients, the frail patients had a greater risk of readmission or death within 30 days after being discharged. And when I say a greater risk, we’re talking a jump from 14 percent to 24 percent. And for those with moderate or severe frailty, that risk was even higher: 14 percent compared to 31 percent!
Of course, staying out of the hospital in the first place is the key here. But hospital visits occur for most folks at some point, so the key is staying as healthy as possible going in. And if you or a loved one does get admitted…be sure to ask your doctor about this frailty score — and what can be done to help counteract potential complications once discharged.
And if your doctor’s not familiar with it … there’s a pretty good chance you already know what category you or your loved one may fall into. The more frail you are, the more diligent you should be in asking for more assistance once you’ve been discharged.
In the meantime, there’s a lot you can do now to help change where you may fall on the frailty scale. In addition to adding a whey protein drink to your daily diet, you can look at other past recommendations in the archives on my website. Here are some simple recommendations for supporting bone health, brain health, and heart health.
And that’s just a start. Search the archives on drpescatore.com for more by typing in any term, from “aging” to “longevity” in the upper right corner of the home page — you’ll come up with plenty of great ideas to stay strong and vibrant … no prescription required.
Canadian Medical Association Journal. “Frailer older patients at higher risk of readmission or death after discharge from hospital.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 May 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/05/150525132336.htm>.