Dawne Garrett, Professional Lead - Older People and Dementia Care, Royal College of Nursing.
Voltaire tells us we are all formed of frailty and error. Certainly we all have a picture of frailty, perhaps an old thin, small, stooped and wrinkled lady, slow of step, quiet of voice and without strength.
In terms of the clinical label of frailty this is untrue. Frailty is phenotype; not a normal part of ageing, but a long term condition. If frailty was about age then all older people would be frail and clearly they are not.
Following feedback from local falls leads and others, and given the high, and rising, financial costs and loss in quality of life associated with falls, evidence is needed on which interventions are most clinically and cost effective in reducing falls, together with a tool to support their implementation. Hence Public Health England (PHE) has commissioned York Health Economics Consortium (YHEC) to carry out a literature review to identify interventions for preventing falls in older people living in the community and to develop an economic model to report the return on investment (RoI) for each cost-effective intervention.
As Sue Bourne from the Guardian suggests (04.01.16) the problem is that we’re all a bit scared of loneliness. Of being alone, of being isolated, of not being loved or needed or cared about.
“Lonely” hits a spot of fear in all of us.
So what does it mean to be lonely? Definitions include feeling remote or having no friends or company. However, even those who have friends can feel lonely.
When we feel lonely we miss the deeper connections of companionship.