Self-Screening Questions for Early Identification of Frailty


Once established, frailty is resistant to interventions intended to slow or even reverse its progression.  The best way to overcome this dilemma is to identify the “pre-frailty” phase of the frailty syndrome, which has a better track record for responding to treatment.  This is where self-screening questions can be very useful. 

While having three or more of the signs or symptoms from the list of questions strongly suggests the onset of frailty, having only one or two of the risk factors may suggest pre-frailty. This would allow an older adult time to work with his or her physician to assess the frailty risk and map out a management plan.

You or a loved may be considered frail if three or more of these criteria apply to you.*

  1. You’re shrinking.  You’ve unintentionally lost 10 pounds or more in the past year.
  2. You feel weak.  You have trouble standing without assistance or have reduced grip strength.
  3. You feel exhausted.  Everything you do takes a big effort or you just can’t get going three or more days most weeks.
  4. Your activity level is low.  This includes formal exercise plus household chores and activities you do for fun.
  5. You walk slowly.  Your paces considered slow if the time it takes you more than six or seven seconds to walk 15 feet. 

Discuss your finding and concerns about frailty  with your doctor. Spotting and treating frailty early can lead to better health outcomes.

*(Developed by John Hopkins)

Use the form below to request a complimentary PDF version of this self-screening questionnaire:

“I would like to have this in my records as a reference to go to for an aging member of the family, to recognize their health is failing and go from there as to what steps can be taken to possibly slow it down.” ……(comment from a request for the pdf) 











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