Caring the elderly diabetic patient with respect to concepts of successful aging and frailty

Diabetes Metab. 2005 Dec;31 Spec No 2:5S13-5S19. doi: 10.1016/s1262-3636(05)73647-8.


Successful aging and frailty are emerging constructs becoming necessary to define prevention and treatment goals in elderly subjects. Frailty corresponds to the stages between full autonomy or successful aging and irreversible functional dependency or pathological aging. However its definition is imprecise and potential clinical criteria are numerous and interrelated. Diabetes decreases the likelihood for successful aging and particularly increases the risk for functional dependency. One major end-point in the care of elderly diabetic subjects is to investigate the impact of blood glucose control on progression of disability. Geriatric intervention based on comprehensive geriatric assessment (CGA) in the frail elderly population has been shown effective to prevent the loss of autonomy and to improve quality of life, but seems ineffective on mortality. It is now recommended to screen elderly diabetic patients for frailty criteria. The effect of combined individualized diabetes care and CGA on the aging profile should be investigated.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / psychology
  • Diabetes Mellitus / rehabilitation
  • Diabetes Mellitus / therapy*
  • Disabled Persons*
  • Frail Elderly*
  • Geriatrics / methods
  • Health Promotion
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations