Frailty is a state of high vulnerability, cumulating adverse health outcomes and can be defined according to Fried as «a physiologic state of increased vulnerability to stressors that results from decreased physiologic reserves, and even dysregulation, of multiple physiologic systems». Whether this state could first be silent, «when loss of reserve reaches an aggregate threshold that leads to serious vulnerability, the syndrome may become detectable by looking at clinical, functional, behavioral, and biological markers». Geriatricians have proposed a frailty index to identify people at high risk of frailty.
A senior can be ranged as frail when he/she cumulates at least three of the five following factors: a) generalized weakness, b) poor endurance, c) weight loss and/or undernourished, d) low activity (even homebound), and e) fear of falling and/or unsteady gait. Indeed, falls are particularly common and burdensome in the elderly population (Palumbo 2015). According to WHO, every year 37.3 million falls that are severe enough require medical attention. They represent a serious public health and socioeconomic problem due to high healthcare costs (annual cost of $31 Billion in the US only) and have a major impact on affected patients (Hartholt 2011). On the other hand, mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is a state of cognitive functioning that can be classified between healthy aging and dementia.
Such a cognitive decline may appear due to pre-dementia symptoms such as memory failure or result from a variety of other etiologies. The prevalence of MCI is set to lie between 15% to 20% for seniors (60+ years) and the annual rate of progression of MCI towards dementia reach 8% to 15% (Petersen 2016).