Course info

Course Overview

This MOOC will focus on frailty in older adults. Frailty is increasingly being recognized as a clinically relevant syndrome, and one that should be addressed and prevented. Frailty prevention includes educating the wider public, and that is what this course will do. This MOOC endeavours to raise awareness of frailty, and showcase that frailty can be preventable and reversible.

The MOOC is offered by FACET, which is part of EIT Health and hosted on EMMA.  

The MOOC is suitable for anyone, no prior knowledge will be expected and easy-to-understand information will be provided. It would also be suitable for health care employees who might observe frailty in their work remit. Essentially, anyone who wants to better understand the mechanisms of frailty and obtain up-to-date information about research on frailty.

The course will run for five weeks, with an expected time commitment of around 2 hours per week. In the first three weeks, the participant will learn about what frailty is, the physical changes that happen with ageing, how frailty differs from normal ageing, and the common assessments that are done to identify frailty. In week 4 and 5, there will be specific attention to the two key factors that a person can modify to prevent frailty: diet and physical activity. Participants will be guided through a series of items, consisting of videos, articles, quizzes. You will be encouraged to actively take part via discussions and self-assessment.

EIT Health logo

 A European initiative for your health. EIT Health is one of the largest healthcare initiatives worldwide. Its goal is to sustainably advance the foundations of healthcare and thus promote the future conditions for healthier living and wellbeing of people across Europe. 

Learning Objectives

This course has the following aims:

1. Raise awareness about frailty

2. Describe the impact frailty can have on the well-being of the older adult, and how frailty can be prevented

3. Explain what frailty is

4. Describe what happens to you physically and psychologically as you get older and how it is related to frailty

5. How to measure whether someone has frailty, or is at risk of developing frailty

6. Provide advice on how to prevent frailty, reverse it, or slow down its progression, with a particular focus on diet and physical activity.

7. Show that frailty can be preventable, and that it is not an inevitable outcome of getting older


The primary outcome is to increase awareness of frailty.

The secondary outcomes are to inform about frailty screening and frailty prevention.

Certification and Additional Info

EMMA is able to provide certification for those who complete the course by doing all lessons and units.

Use of content and licenses

Intellectual Property Rights and Retention of Ownership. Except for the rights expressly granted to the owner of intellectual property (IP) under these Terms, Course Providers will retain all right, title and interest, including all worldwide intellectual property and proprietary rights. EMMA offers freely accessible (course) video materials under the Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. EMMA offers all other freely accessible (course) materials under the Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Course Structure

  • Lesson 1 - Welcome to the course and EMMA28/10/2016
  • Lesson 2 - What is Frailty and why does Frailty matter?29/10/2016
  • Lesson 3 - Getting older and Frailty07/11/2016
  • Lesson 4 - Measuring Frailty 14/11/2016
  • Lesson 5 - Taking Action21/11/2016
  • Lesson 6 - Getting Active 28/11/2016


Marco Arkesteijn

Born in the Netherlands, Dr Marco Arkesteijn completed his BSc and MSc at the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in Human Movement Sciences. Upon completion, he initiated his PhD in 2009, at the University of Kent, United Kingdom. His research focused on the relationship between pedalling technique and the efficiency of cycling, both from a muscular and physiological
perspective. Following that, in September 2012 he took up his post as Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Science at Aberystwyth University where he currently resides.

Current research activities consist of the role of the muscle in the ageing process. The link between muscle, movement coordination and daily functioning is key in his various research projects. Outside of research, Marco is a member of the Expert Advisory Group of Ageing Well in Wales, focusing on fall prevention. This focuses on a multi-disciplinary collaboration to raise awareness about fall
prevention across Wales. 


Rhian George

My name is Rhian George, I am a newly qualified Sports and Exercise Scientist graduating from Aberystwyth University earlier this year.
I am currently working as a Research Assistant on this project, after being offered the position by a lecturer of mine towards the final weeks of my degree. My ambition is to become a Physiotherapist, I have worked in all areas of physiotherapy including, NHS, Sport, Private Sector, Research, Hydrotherapy, Outpatients, Cardio-respiratory, Intensive care, Neurology and many more. Of all the areas I found Neurology the most interesting to me, this is because I want to work long term with patients to do all I can to give them the best quality of life and care possible. The majority of patients who require neurological physiotherapy are indeed older adults.
I find working with older adults to be the most interesting and the most rewarding. Working on this project is incredibly interesting and beneficial to my future, every day I learn new things from working alongside Scientists, Health Professionals and of course older adults. In January I will be moving to Southampton where I will be studying my Masters degree in Physiotherapy. I will then be looking towards the future and begin my career as a Physiotherapist.


Esther Castanys Munoz

Dr. Esther Castanys-Muñoz obtained her Biology degree in Granada University. She then did her PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Spanish Research Council. Following this, she moved to Scotland for a post-doc in the Wellcome Trust Center for Molecular Parasitology at the University of Glasgow. 

Since she joined Abbott Nutrition, she has been involved in several projects, from prebiotics and gut health to early nutrition. She got involved in the FACET project last April, where she works as a project manager for the consortium. As a result, she has developed an interest in frailty and nutritional interventions to promote healthy ageing. 


Silvia Polaino

Dr. Silvia Polaino

Silvia obtained the B.S. degree in Pharmacy and the M.S. in Plant Biochemistry and Molecular Biology with highest honors at the University of Seville (Spain). She then matriculated as a PhD student in the Department of Genetics, School of Biological Sciences at the University of Seville (Spain). She worked with Prof. Enrique Cerdá Olmedo on the sexual process of the filamentous fungus Phycomyces blakesleeanus and the metabolic pathway of the apocarotenoids. She did post-doctoral studies at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (USA) on genetics of light-sensing in fungi and genetic analysis of carotenoid biosynthesis in red yeasts. She moved to Murcia University in 2014 to continue her scientific research.

Currently she is a Junior Scientist of Abbott Nutrition Research & Development, University Science Park, Granada (Spain). She is involved in the project FACET (FrAilty Care and wEll function) since September this year.