FRAIL – A Medical Assessment of Health

Caregivers for the frail

What is frail?

Frail is not just look! We’ve found it’s much more, including the fight & the determination you have for life.

Johns Hopkins University has created a test using the Acronym F.R.A.I.L. to determine how frail or strong a patient is for surgery & aftercare. This test could also become very helpful to those who have a need for in home caregiving. The test was created to help determine who would be more likely to have a safe & successful medical operation based on their FRAIL scores; with those who are not frail being at less risk during surgery and recovery.

F.R.A.I.L. an Acronym to Assess your Health

The acronym frail is used in the medical field to help assess a person’s overall health and frailty risk for medical operations; along with determining the possible need for aftercare while healing. Keep in mind this test could become an asset for having caregiving services approved for those who classify as frail, even without surgery in the immediate future. However, this is one of many tests medical professionals can use to determine the need for in home assistance to ensure everyday quality of life & faster in home recovery after surgeries.


F. = Fatigue Does the client become quickly exhausted? Do they seem motivated?

R. = Resistance Using a hand held dynamometer (utilized by a trained medical professional) and squeezed by the client, what is the strength of the patient’s grip when adjusted for their body mass & gender?

A. = Ambulation How fast can the client walk 15 feet? (Your medical professional will have an equation to determine where ambulatory skills measure in relation to “normal”)

I. = Illnesses What is the client’s current medical condition? Do they have certain illnesses that make them less healthy and put them a high risk patient?

L. = Loss of Weight Has the client lost 10 pounds or more, without trying, in the past year?

Generally if a client scores poorly in at least 3 of the 5 categories they would most likely be categorized as frail. However, the FRAIL test alone will not determine a client to be frail and other physical abilities or disabilities will also be taken into consideration such as mental status, gait, pain levels, stability and more. Remember, FRAIL testing will help determine how fragile a person really is and may surprise those who see a tiny fragile person standing before them who have a determination & strength beyond their appearance.

Caregiving for those with FRAIL scores

Having in-home caregiving services can help you increase your scores when being evaluated on the FRAIL scale and your overall physical ability evaluation. This is how in-home caregiving can help if you are frail:

F. – Fatigue can be lowered as caregivers can assist or take over some everyday chores.

R. – Resistance & strength can be achieved as a home healthcare assistant can work with your medical team of physicians & physical therapists to make sure you do daily strengthening exercises.

A. – Caregivers can offer assistance as you walk both indoors and out; giving you a sense of sturdiness & strength.

I. – If you have any illnesses a caregiving specialist can make sure your medication is taken on schedule and help you eat healthier.

L. – Many times weight loss comes because people simply don’t want to be bothered to cook for just themselves. A caregiver can provide healthy meals & snacks to build up your strength and get you to the weight you need.

The term frail can mean many things, but testing to determine frailty scores are one of many ways to determine the overall healthy and determination of a client’s desire to enjoy their quality of life. Quality of life is what matters most and if you have been determined to be frail there’s no reason why you can’t continue to enjoy staying in your home with friends, family & in home caregiving to assure your safety. More than anything you want a in home caregiving service that is well known, well regarded & highly professional.


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