Frailty has important implications for the care needs of older adults and how those needs are met. By recognizing frailty and measuring it objectively, clinicians can better engage patients and their loved ones in difficult discussions about treatment plans and prognosis, and ultimately deliver better palliative care.
Many frail older adults are thin, weak, and undernourished; this component of frailty remains a critical concern in the geriatric field. However, there is also strong evidence that excessive adiposity contributes to frailty by reducing the ability of older adults to perform physical activities and increasing metabolic instability. This scoping review explores the impact of being obese on physical frailty in older adults by summarizing the state of the science for both clinical markers of physical function and biomarkers for potential underlying causes of obesity-related decline.