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Journal Article


Green MM, Meyer C, Hutchinson AM, Sutherland F, Lowthian JA. Health Soc. Care Community 2021; ePub(ePub): ePub.


(Copyright © 2021, John Wiley and Sons)






Frailty is a condition characterised by increased vulnerability and decline of physical and cognitive reserves, most often affecting older people. This can lead to a cascade of repeated hospitalisations, further decline and ultimately loss of independence. Frailty and pre-frailty are modifiable; interventions such as physical exercise, cognitive training, social connection and improved nutrition, especially in a group setting, can mitigate frailty. Existing healthcare guidelines for managing frailty focus predominantly on falls, delirium, acute confusion and immobility. Uptake of referrals to services following hospital discharge is sub-optimal, indicating that a more proactive, person-centred and integrated approach to frailty is required. The aim was to co-design a program to help pre-frail and frail older people return to their homes following hospital discharge by increasing resilience and promoting independence. We engaged healthcare consumers, and healthcare professionals from three tertiary hospitals in metropolitan Melbourne (Alfred Hospital, Monash Health and Cabrini Health), and from Bolton Clarke home-based support services. Co-design is a process whereby the input of service consumers is included in the development of a program. In the healthcare sector, co-design involves discussions with healthcare consumers alongside healthcare professionals to identify issues and build knowledge to ultimately work on improving the healthcare system. From co-design sessions with 23 healthcare consumers and 17 healthcare professionals, it was apparent that frailty was perceived to affect physical and mental well-being. The co-design process resulted in refinement of the Being Your Best program to incorporate a holistic approach, addressing four domains supported by research evidence, to improve health and well-being through community- or home-based physical activity, cognitive training, social support and nutritional support. Being Your Best was developed in consultation with older people with lived experience as well as healthcare professionals and aims to mitigate the effects of frailty, and will now be tested for feasibility and acceptability.

Language: en


frailty; co-design; holistic care; older; seniors


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