Entries by Karen Bandeen Roche, PhD

Understanding the etiology underlying frailty: Making frail older adults less frail 

Why do older adults grow frail? 

Because they grow old–but not only this. We all know, or we recognize as researchers, that some octogenarians thrive, while others ten years younger are highly vulnerable. 

Our field of gerontology often asks a different question: How should an older adult’s frailty influence the care we provide them? That’s important. So also, though, is to treat the frailty itself: truly treat, and not just ameliorate symptoms. This is what any one of us would wish if we were frail—to not be as frail anymore.  Continue Reading

Double Jeopardy for Older Adults of Color: An Urgent Call to Address Frailty Disparities in the United States

Racial inequality that has been embedded in US structures and institutions has been exposed by twin catastrophes of 2020. In the height of the early novel coronavirus pandemic, Black, Latinx, and Native Americans were roughly 5 times as likely to be hospitalized for COVID-19 than their white peers, and Black Americans were twice as likely to die as whites (CDC COVID-19 Hospitalization by Race/Ethnicity, accessed 11/18/20). The killing of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and others highlight the fact that people of color in the US continue to disproportionately experience police and vigilante violence along with other forms of inequality, including substandard housing, under-resourced schools, and restricted access to living-wage employment. Continue Reading

Welcome to the conversation on Frailty Science.

Welcome to the Frailty Science blog!    Whether you are a researcher, clinician, student, policy maker, advocate, older adult, or caregiver—we hope you will find something interesting or useful on the site. We aim to provide a gateway to information for those seeking to learn more about frailty, vulnerability and resiliency in older adults. We hope you will enjoy checking in for the latest frailty-related findings, evidence-based reporting on research and clinical topics, best-practice recommendations from national and international organizations, and guidance on frailty assessment instruments. Continue Reading