A CAMPAIGN has been launched in Dumfries and Galloway today encouraging people to remain as active as possible while in hospital.
Medics and staff at Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary donned pyjamas for the launch of ‘Get Up, Get Dressed and Get Moving!’ – highlighting that following this advice can help to improve health and shorten the length of stay.
Research has found that older adults can quickly lose mobility and ability to do everyday tasks like bathing and dressing when inactive and in bed in their pyjamas.
And amazingly, one week of resting in bed can result in 10 per cent muscle loss, prompting the caution that if you don’t use those muscles you will lose them.
Associate Director of Allied Health Professionals Joan Pollard said: “Many people may still think of what was shown in old black and white British films when they imagine what it’s like to spend a period of time in hospital – people lying in bed all day, never moving, and never getting dressed.
“That is a fallacy, and far removed from the approach taken today – which is to encourage patients to remain as close to their normal levels of activity as possible in order to maintain their levels of fitness and mobility.”
Joan added: “Also, people may not realise that patients often need to attend treatment or assessment sessions which would require them to be dressed appropriately.
“However, we often have patients who are poorly prepared for these activities as they have no suitable day clothes to wear – simply because those people or their relatives didn’t realise they would be needed.”
Consultant Geriatrician Amy Conley is helping to drive forward the campaign, serving as clinical lead.
Dr Conley said: “Wearing day clothes is shown to help people feel better both mentally and physically, to provide a greater sense of normality, and make them better prepared to go home.
“So part of this campaign is also asking people of all ages to bring in everyday clothes, as well as sensible footwear, glasses, hearing aids, and any mobility aids such as walking sticks that they may use on a day-to-day basis.
“Where feasible, and at the guidance of staff, people should aim to try and be as active and independent as they would be at home – going to the bathroom themselves, washing and dressing themselves, sitting up in chairs rather than lying in bed – especially for meals, doing gentle exercises and going for walks in the public areas of our hospitals. And in the case of the new DGRI we have some fantastic public spaces to make the most of, including our amazing garden spaces.”
The ‘Get Up, Get Dressed and Get Moving!’ campaign will see information sheets go into every ward in the region’s cottage hospitals and in Galloway Community Hospital, and placed in the new DGRI’s single bed rooms – giving this information and providing a checklist for necessary items.
Information will also be hosted in public areas, will be posted regularly on social media, on information screens in the new DGRI and hosted on the DG-Change web-site.