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Hospitals more proactive to prevent elderly from becoming frail

The Salt Lake Tribune, March 13, 2012

At least one-third of hospital patients older than 70 leave more frail than when they arrived, and many become too weak to go home. Nursing home care or rehabilitation often are needed, and even then, research suggests more than two-thirds remain weaker a year after being in the hospital. Elder-care experts say conventional hospital care focusing on treating disease rather than preventing frailty contributes to the problem. Advocates say hospitals need to revamp old-fashioned models of patient care—from getting patients out of bed to offering better food and homey surroundings.