Nowadays individuals > 65 years of age comprise the fastest growing subset of patients with ESRD in developed world. Although dialysis may be a life-extending treatment for patients of all ages, one-year mortality for older dialysis starts is very high. Moreover, in addition to limited life expectancy, many older adults experience functional decline and increased episodes of hospitalization after starting dialysis. In the elderly, a significant burden of harm may arise from the delivery of conventional haemodialysis, with frequent episodes of hypotension having deleterious effects on both cardiac and cerebral function.
This poor outcome is mainly due to frailty, a condition characterized by weakness, motility and balance issues, and a declined ability to resist stressors, leading to increased risks of adverse health outcomes a poor quality of life. Determination of the degree of frailty enables the clinician to evolve a holistic treatment plan with better outcome.
Key Words: haemodialysis, elderly, geriatric nephrology, frailty, palliative care.