The geriatric population is increasing worldwide due to rapid development in medical technology and novel treatments. The curve of life expectancy and ageing is growing. Adding years to life does not necessarily mean extending wellness. Longevity can be associated with a decline in physical and cognitive capabilities, resulting in falls and frailty. Physical inactivity and being admitted to hospitals make older adults more vulnerable to loss of independence. Patients who undergo strict bed rest lose 1 to 1.5% of their strength per day. One-third of older adults develop a new disability in the activity of daily living during hospitalization and half of these are unable to recover function.
This program started from September 21 to January 23. The aim was to prevent frailty acceleration by setting up an early therapist assessment and intervention program. The researchers are aiming to set the standard for acute geriatric patients’ participation in “Out of bed therapeutic activities”. The ultimate goal was to have meals outside the bed.
All patients in acute geriatric wards will receive an initial assessment by therapists [Occupational, physical, and swallowing and speech team], using a standard therapist's assessment. The patients will be categorized into active, low-level function, and complete dependent categories based on their functional and cognitive levels.
Despite the difficulties during the pandemic and staff deployment, the researchers recorded 351 patients. With the assistance of the nursing staff, the therapist managed to increase the rate of having meals outside the bed from 25% to 83%. More importantly, it is the embedding of the culture of preparing patients to have meals sitting in a chair in their room or the lunch hall. on average 94% of patients and families received education about mobilization after discharge from the unit to continue physical activities in their home environment.
Audience Take Away
- Approach of in-patient rehabilitation how to categorize the patient based on the physical capabilities.
- This will also assist the patient and the service to allocate appropriate rehab service after discharge
- This study is planned to be integrated into a larger study that includes cognitive rehabilitation to prevent delirium and hospital deconditioning.
- This a practical study of how to engage patients and families in the physical activities