Welcome to Ipswich Hospital
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Monday, 20 November 2017
Reablement Seminar
Helping patients to Get Up and Go
24 July 2017

We are encouraging patients get up, get dressed and get moving as part of a campaign designed to help them regain their independence more quickly.

The 'Get Up and Go' initiative is reminding staff of the importance of keeping all patients –  especially those who are frail and elderly – active so that they do not lose strength, balance and mobility. By doing so, they can retain a good quality of life and live as independently as possible after discharge.

It comes as part of a national focus on reablement and in response to evidence which shows spending 10 days in a hospital bed causes the equivalent of 10 years ageing in the muscles in people aged 80 and over. In addition, prolonged bed rest can also lead to depression, reduced appetite, urinary tract infections, incontinence, confusion and pressure sores.

Penny Cason, professional lead occupational therapist at the hospital, said: “This campaign is reminding our staff to keep life as normal as possible for patients by empowering them to get up, get dressed and carry on with as many of their usual activities as they can. By doing so, they will reduce the risk of developing pressure sores and other complications while also retaining the strength in their muscles so that they can return home and be as independent as possible.

“Hospitals across the country tend to inadvertently over-prescribe care by bringing everything to the patient’s bedside and not encouraging them to be active. Although we may think we are being helpful, this can actually have a negative impact and could mean they cannot fulfil as many activities as they did before their admission when they do return home.

“Where clinically possible, we want every single patient to stay as close to their usual routine as they can by getting up and dressed, staying hydrated, eating their meals in a chair and walking to the toilet so that they can enjoy a good quality of life when they are discharged.”

A variety of initiatives are already in place at the hospital to encourage reablement and remind patients to stay hydrated, which reduces the risk of falls, pressure sores and urinary infections. They include a social dining area on the Waveney Ward, while patients on the Lavenham Ward can use static cycles to reduce the risk of muscle wastage and are given pedometers to encourage them to walk.

Staff training is also taking place, while a patient booklet is also being produced which includes exercises people can do in their chairs as well as space to note down their daily goals, such as walking to the toilet.