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Failing the frailest


Fraility and the population with Intellectual/Learning Disabilities It has been recognized that not all measures of health suitable for the general population will produce accurate results among persons with intellectual disabilities and frailty is likely one that needs reconsideration in this vulnerable population. Approaches to fraility consider disability a consequence rather than a cause of frailty. This may be different for long-disabled populations, which would have consequences for validity of frailty measures. It is generally perceived that people with intellectual disabilities are "old" from age 50 onwards. Different approaches will be applicable to populations with intellectual disabilities. Frailty as defined by both the phenotypic and deficit accumulation approach appears to develop considerably earlier and is more severe in people with intellectual disabilities than in the general older population. Interventions to address frailty in adults with intellectual disabilities have not been widely explored, although the need to focus on improving quality of life of older adults with intellectual disabilities is important. Medicines optimisation is key to the successful management of frail older people in all population groups in order to reduce harm from medicines and minimise inappropriate admissions to acute hospitals and long term care. However, the potential for unintended consequences of labelling someone from any population group as frail should also be considered by pharmacists and others. Bibliography Evenhuis, H., Schoufour, J. and Echteld, M. (2013), Frailty and intellectual disability: A different operationalization?. Dev. Disabil. Res. Rev., 18: 17-21. doi:10.1002/ddrr.1124 McKenzie K, Martin L, Ouellette-Kuntz H. Frailty and Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: a Scoping Review. Can Geriatr J. 2016;19(3):103–112. Published 2016 Sep 30. doi:10.5770/cgj.19.225

Posted date

17 JAN 2020

Posted time



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