PATIENTS at Naas Hospital are being encourged to get up and get dressed as part of a new campaign.
On Thursday they launched ‘End PJ Paralysis’ a campaign that focuses on encouraging patients, where possible, to stop wearing their pyjamas or hospital gown when they don’t need to and to increase their activity.
Staff in wards throughout the hospital are working with patients each day to encourage them to get up and get dressed in their own clothes. Patients are encouraged to bring comfortable day clothes and shoes with them when they are being admitted to the hospital.
The initiative also includes daily physio led exercise classes with patients to encourage mobility.
“For people over the age of 80, ten days in bed can age the muscles by ten years,” said Aoife Spillane, senior physiotherapist at the hospital.
“This loss of strength could make the difference between staying independent or needing more help with daily living. If you get up and dressed into your own clothes you are more likely to walk around, fell more confident and feel yourself again.”
Alice Kinsella, general manager, said that by ensuring patients get into their own clothes it not only helps them to recover quicker but changes how they are viewed by staff and family.
“It can help empower the patient, enable more timely discharges, reduce patient’s length of stay and enhance patient flow,” she said.
Benefits of getting up and dressed are highlighted in the campaign. They include less risk of getting an infection, losing mobility and losing fitness.
Bedbound patients lose 1 – 5% of their muscle strength every day they are in bed and ten days bed rest equals ten years ageing in the muscles of people over 80.
The campaign also says that bedrest can lead to the development of skin breakdown, pressure sores, confusion and fatigue and it increases the risk of needing institutional care on discharge five times.