The HSE is today (Monday, 4th October 2021) pleased to launch The Get up, Get dressed, Get moving challenge, an initiative that will be taking place in a number of hospitals throughout Ireland from the 4th October and the 3rd December 2021.
Each of the participating hospitals has nominated a ward/wards that will be involved in encouraging older people to get up, dressed and to get moving during their hospital stay.
During a hospital stay older adults can spend 97% of their day lying or sitting down. These reduced activity levels can have a serious impact on the quality of life of the older person. Each day spent immobile is associated with loss of muscle strength, which in a vulnerable person can be the difference between being able to climb the stairs or being able use the bathroom independently. It can actually make the difference in their ability to be discharged back home or in having to go to long term care facilities. The National Ambulance Service is supporting the challenge by encouraging older adults, where appropriate, to pack their day clothing and sensible footwear, rather than pyjamas and slippers for their hospital stay.
Welcoming the initiative, Dr Colm Henry, Chief Clinical Officer, HSE said, “I warmly welcome this initiative both in its content and its timing and would encourage you to participate in this 60 day challenge, as we collectively lead change, add value and make it better for patients and their carers.”
During the 60 day challenge all members of the multi-disciplinary team will be supporting the older person to increase their levels of functional activity. And the benefits of simply becoming more active include less risk of:
- Getting an infection
- Losing mobility and agility
- Losing fitness and strength
- Developing pressure sores
- Having a fall
One of the significant risk factors for falls is inappropriate footwear, which can include slippers. Therefore if the older person is encouraged to bring in appropriate clothing and footwear they will be at less risk of falls while mobilising. Also we know when people are dressed healthcare professionals are more likely to notice their ability, rather than see them in the “sick role” and so plan for their discharge.
For more information on Get up, Get dressed, Get moving see Get Up, Get Dressed, Get Moving and follow #GUGDGM2021 on Twitter.
Last updated on: 04 / 10 / 2021