Frailty is a common occurrence among older adults. This means that, slowly, older adults become less healthy due to ageing. Becoming frail is not something that can be easily observed by the older adults themselves as it happens gradually. When a person is frail, he or she is at risk for disability, dementia, falls, hospitalisation, institutionalisation, or increased mortality. Frailty can be prevented, or even reversed, by early detection and offering training services on improving an older adult’s physique, cognition and nutritional habits.
Current identification methods for frailty and prefrailty among older adults are resource-intensive and more efficient (but equally reliable) alternatives need to be developed. A community-based, technology-supported service model for screening for frailty among older adults and training their health can be a cost-effective alternative for the clinically based services that are currently available. By combining both approaches, care is moved away from care institutions, while it allows older adults to choose which kind of service they prefer (face-to-face in the community or via online self-service technology).
This is where the PERSSILAA project comes in. In this project, researchers and eHealth developers have joined forces to create a service for screening for frailty among older adults, and to train those that are pre-frail. Screening happens at home via a paper-based or online questionnaire (during a first screening), and face-to-face at a location in the older adult’s neighbourhood (during a second screening). Training services are offered to the pre-frail, while frail older adults are referred to their General Practitioner. These training services focus on improving the older adults’ physique, cognition, and nutritional habits, and can be joined online or at a location in the older adult’s neighbourhood.
Elderly care organisation can play a crucial role within the PERSSILAA service by facilitating screenings and training sessions at a location in the older adult’s neighbourhood. This way, older adults come into contact with an elderly care organisation gently and will be more familiar with the organisation when they really need it. Next, the outcome of the PERSSILAA screening and training can be of great value for community nurses.
More information? Please watch the animation below, or contact the PERSSILAA team.