Number of frail patients on the rise in Singapore: NHG
The number of frail patients here has increased by 35.5 per cent, going from 36,208 in 2010 to 49,092 in 2017.
The figures came from research carried out by the National Healthcare Group (NHG).
While the risk of frailty increases with age, it is not inevitable.
Associate Professor Reshma Merchant, head of the Geriatric Medicine division at the National University Hospital, highlighted five symptoms of frailty.
They are: Unintended weight loss of five per cent or more within six to 12 months, a general feeling of exhaustion three or more days a week, a slow walking speed, muscle weakness and low levels of physical activity.
Those who experience one or two of the above symptoms are considered pre-frail.
The good news is, frailty can be overcome or delayed.
Prof Reshma told The New Paper: "Frailty is reversible with multidomain exercise, nutrition and socialisation."
Diet-wise, older adults must consume more protein to form muscles.
Playing games like mahjong will aid in mental stimulation as well.
Older adults can also engage in simple brisk walking or exercises.
Said Professor Reshma: "Resistance exercise at least three times a week has been shown to decrease frailty and increase muscle strength."