QOL Publications

Frailty: A Public Health Perspective
Dennis Raphael, Maureen Cava, Ivan Brown, Rebecca Renwick, Kit Heathcote, Nancy Weir, Karen Wright, Lori Kirwan
January 1996, 7 pages


Traditionally, frailty has been conceptualized as reflecting an inevitable decline in abilities usually associated with physical aspects of aging. More recent thinking now sees frailty as reflecting an interaction among individual factors and a range of environmental elements. These emerging models, however, continue to consider frailty as a condition which resides within the individual rather than a situation which exists for an individual. We present a new model which defines frailty as occurring when there is diminished ability to carry out the important practical and social activities of daily living. Factors related to the occurrence of frailty are considered and the theoretical and practice implications of viewing frailty as a social construction are considered.