Prevention of frailty in later life: exploring the role of life-events as turning points.

Project Details


This research project focuses on the prevention of frailty, with a particular focus on old-age life events. A better understanding of the dynamic processes leading to frailty in older people is needed, not only because of the increasing population ageing, but even more since studies demonstrate that frailty increases with age. Given that earlier perspectives on frail older adults have tended to focus on an individual biomedical approach, decline and impairment, this research proposal adds a socio-psychological perspective, from an empowering strengths-based perspective. This proposal unfolds 4 research objectives: 1) systematically review the evidence of existing studies on relations between life events and frailty, 2) examine the relation between (adverse and positive) life events and frailty, 3) examine the resilience and coping frail older adults use when facing (adverse) old-age life events, and how this impacts their frailty; and 4) explore the narratives on old-age life events of frail older adults, and how they cope with these events. A mixed-methods design will be used including three steps: a systematic literature review, use of longitudinal quantitative data (N=900, >60years), and 45 qualitative life story interviews with frail older adults. The research aims to contribute to life-course theories by gaining insights in the prevention of frailty with a focus on old-age life events. The results can be used to inform prevention programs aiming to decrease frailty.
Effective start/end date1/10/1730/09/21


  • Frailty

Flemish discipline codes 2018-2023

  • Developmental psychology and ageing not elsewhere classified


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