Frailty refers to a state of decreased physiological reserve and increased vulnerability to stressors, which is commonly seen in older adults. It is characterized by a decline in multiple organ systems, including the musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, and immune systems, resulting in a reduced ability to cope with stressors such as infections, injuries, and medical procedures. Frailty can lead to an increased risk of adverse health outcomes, including falls, disability, hospitalization, and mortality. Frailty is not an inevitable consequence of aging and can be prevented or mitigated with appropriate interventions, such as exercise, nutrition, and medical management of underlying health conditions.

The number of frail elderly individuals in Singapore has been increasing in recent years, driven by an aging population and increasing prevalence of chronic diseases. According to a 2020 report by the Ministry of Health, about 7.8% of Singapore residents aged 65 years and above were classified as frail in 2018, up from 6.5% in 2013.

The report also noted that the prevalence of frailty increases with age, with 17.8% of those aged 75 years and above being classified as frail. Furthermore, the proportion of older adults who are pre-frail or are at risk of becoming frail has also been increasing, with about 34.1% of Singapore residents aged 65 years and above being pre-frail in 2018.

These trends highlight the importance of addressing frailty and pre-frailty in older adults in Singapore through preventive measures, such as exercise interventions and early identification and management of chronic conditions.

The failure to mobilize joints before exercise can have significant consequences for older adults. As we age, the synovial fluid inside our joints that acts as a lubricant to allow our bones to move without friction decreases. This causes the elderly’s joints to be stiff and inflexible. Failure to immobilize the joints will cause wear and tear to the cartilage due to the lack of synovial fluid. This puts the elderly at risk of osteoarthritis, as without synovial fluid, the bones would start to rub against one another and against the cartilage which causes the degeneration of cartilage. Mobilizing the joints through stretching stimulates the production of synovial fluids at the joints which enhances the lubrication, and isometric contraction makes the muscles stronger without loading the joints, which prevents joint degeneration while strengthening the muscles.

Some exercises one can do before exercising can be single knee to chest, thigh abduction, and pelvic bridging.

Single Knee to Chest:

Side Rotation Stretch:


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *