Four tips to help your older adult patients get up, get moving, and keep moving!

As part of the Hip Fracture Redesign Project sponsored by Dr. Pierre Guy and Dr. Ken Hughes of the Centre for Hip Health and Mobility, a poster has been designed to be used throughout VCH to encourage early mobility with all older adults.

Please print this poster and hang it in your work space to promote awareness.

There are four key things we can all encourage:

  1. Up in chair for meals and visitors
  2. Up to commode or bathroom
  3. Encourage exercises
  4. Walk around the unit with help or by self

Why it’s important to keep older adult patients mobile

Early and frequent mobilization is known to prevent three serious complications of hospitalization that affect older people including delirium, functional decline and falls.

Rates of mobilization of older adults in acute care is very low according to a study by Straus et al 2016. Evaluations of early mobilization strategies such as the MOVE (Mobilization of Vulnerable Elders) program in Ontario show that early mobilization can decrease acute care length of stay, shorten duration of delirium, improve return to independent functional status, increase rates of discharge to home and decrease hospital costs.

What we all can do to help

Working collaboratively as an interdisciplinary team will improve mobility for our patients. Nurses, physicians, rehab professionals and family can all help. By not accepting excuses from patients, educating and promoting the benefits of moving, ensuring patients are up as soon after surgery as possible and encouraging sitting up for meals and visitors we can impede functional decline.

Let’s work together to improve mobility rates for older adults and get our patients out of bed!

Jane Burns, VCH Clinical Resource Physiotherapist and Darlene Bennett, Patient Service Coordinator, Orthopaedics and Trauma Unit, VGH with mobility posters on the ward.

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