SW seniors urged to take frail test for a healthier future

South West residents aged 65 and over are being encouraged to take a five-question online test that could help them maintain their independence and improve their health.

Member for Forrest Nola Marino said the new frailty test and subsequent follow-up with a GP could help seniors lead longer, better lives and remain living in their own homes for as long possible.

“The FRAIL test is called the ‘canary in the coal mine’ of ageing, revealing whether people are more at risk of frailty which can include deteriorating health, more susceptibility to falls and even premature death,” Mrs Marino said.

“The good news is that there are simple interventions that can help avoid and even reverse frailty, so the sooner people heed the warning signs, the better.”

Development of the new frailty test was part of a Turnbull Government-funded national study of the condition conducted by aged care organisation Benetas, which found:

– The frailty prevalence rate was 6 percent
– 38 per cent fell into the pre-frail category
– Slightly more than half (56 per cent) were categorised as robust
– Women were found to have a much higher incidence of frailty than men
– 5 per cent of men were frail, compared with 8 per cent of women
– 34 per cent of men were pre-frail compared with 41 per cent of women
– Almost half of the women surveyed were either frail or pre-frail, compared with less than 40 per cent of men

“Completing the test takes just a minute, and then the online facility produces a personalised letter including the results,” Mrs Marino said.

“Participants are encouraged to print this off and discuss any concerns with their doctor.

The FRAIL test is available through the Positive Ageing Resource Centre website parc.net.au. The screening tool at parc.net.au complements the individual screening and online supports available on the My Aged Care website myagedcare.gov.au