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Medicine in old age 

Medicine in old age
Medicine in old age

Gordon Wilcock

and Kenneth Rockwood



Chapter reviewed June 2011—minor alterations made.

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date: 28 September 2021

Frailty occurs in a mainly older or geriatric population, is linked to the accumulation of a number of different health-related problems, and may influence disease presentation. A frequently used clinical definition recognizes presentations comprising weight loss, exhaustion, slow movement, a low level of physical activity, and weakness. It can also be graded by degree of disability: (1) very mild frailty describes someone who has given up complex hobbies; (2) mild frailty implies some dependence on ‘instrumental activities of daily living’; (3) moderate frailty involves intermediate self-care activities; and (4) severe frailty requires personal-care dependence. The complexity of frailty underlies the difficulties that often arise when managing the care of an older person. Understanding the concept and consequences of frailty is essential to the problems of and successful management of many older people....

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