Frail Tree Image

This lovely old tree stands today in a national park in Florida.

It is frail from years of having people walk over its roots, from a bore infestation, and a leaf blight.

When branches began to fall, the arborists applied support braces.

Visitors still walk over the roots, the bore still eats, and the leaves still curl.

Many of our patients are just as frail as this tree and even with your support they may need more help. When frailty is measured – either from Minimum Data Set data or other entered data – it can then be stratified by the degree of risk present for a specific patient. This level of risk – low or medium, or high – is an indicator of clinical complexity, and offers insights for planning the holistic plan of care.


Those care plans should consider some of the following approaches:


  • Proactive – not reactive: It is always better to prevent the outcome where possible.


  • Discussed & documented: The multidisciplinary team is responsible for outcomes.
  • Communicated: Patients and families must be informed and participating in care plan.
  • Risk-based: Consider and offer palliative care as frailty increases.
  • Value-driven: Aggressive care is not always best and can cause harm. Value-driven care seeks to address patient needs – the right care at the right time in the right setting.



For more information on frailty and frailty measurement log on to:

Download our Frailty Primer