“Ageing is inevitable but the pace at which the physical changes occur can be slowed with the right activity, diet, medication and social interaction,” according to the Australian Positive Aging Resource Centre.
The federally-funded centre is offering online resources and a simple screening tool to gauge the likelihood of a senior suffering an adverse health event in the next six months.
Deputy Prime Minister and Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, is encouraging residents who are aged 65 and over, or on their carer’s behalf, to take an online, five-question frailty test to improve their well-being. The questions address fitness and number of illnesses, based on observations that decreased mobility, loss of muscle strength and multiple mediations can be indicators of impending issues.
The person being assessed receives personal recommendations (including a letter to their GP, if requested) and access to an online resource centre.
Mr Joyce said the 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 lead to things like deteriorating health and greater susceptibility to falls,” he 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.”
Meanwhile all residents in the New England can now also register for the online My Health Record, which offers patients greater control over their personal health information as well as real-time access for health professionals around Australia.
“It’s especially useful for retirees and ‘grey nomads’ who travel from the New England around our great nation,” Mr Joyce said.
“Being registered on My Health Record gives peace of mind, that no matter where you are, health professionals can quickly access this vital information at the point of care.”
My Health Record presents information from across the health system, through a GP uploading a shared health summary record, Medicare data, public and private pathology and radiology reports and hospital discharge summaries.
Individuals can control what information is in their My Health Record, and which health care provider organisations can access the information, with an extensive range of privacy settings.
For My Health Record information and to register, go to: myhealthrecord.gov.au
The FRAIL test is available through the Positive Ageing Resource Centre website parc.net.au.