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Friday 22nd September 2017

Staff in pyjamas say "Let's Get Moving"

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Pyjama-wearing hospital staff have been highlighting the debilitating impact on patients of spending long periods in bed.

Research shows that, for the over 80s, spending 10 days in bed can age their muscles by 10 years. Tauranga Hospital staff donned their PJs this week to showcase the issue and launch the Let's Get Moving campaign..

"We wanted to start a conversation about the impact even a few days bed rest can have on reducing muscle strength and increasing the risk of complications for patients, particularly for older patients in hospital," said Older Adult Nurse Practitioner Rosie Winters.

Key themes of the week included a focus on getting patients dressed in their normal clothes again as soon as possible and staying active. Patient feedback was very positive and the experience of wearing pyjamas to work proved thought-provoking for staff.

"One of our staff said how unmotivated she felt because she was wearing her pyjamas," said Mrs Winters. "It brings home the psychology of clothes. We've used this as an opportunity to talk to patients about being conscious of their activity levels each day.

"With patients, once they come in and change into gowns they tend to retract into a passive role. For the older person even a few days bed rest can cause a rapid decline in muscle strength and lead to an increased stay in hospital and complications."

The Let's Get Moving campaign (based on the #endPJparalysis movement from the UK) featured staff from Tauranga Hospital's Medical Wards, APU (Admissions Planning Unit) and Allied Health team and was launched on Monday 18 September. 

Factboxes:

Did you know?

  • For people over 80, spending 10 days in bed ages their muscles by 10 years.
  • Just 24 hours of bed-rest reduces your muscle power by 2.5% and not just in your arms and legs but in your heart and lungs.
  • Older adults living at home typically take 900 steps per day but in hospital most patients only take 250 steps per day.

What can be done?

The Let's Get Moving campaign aims to help prevent deconditioning in frail older patients by encouraging them to:

  • Get up - spend less time on the bed and to eat meals whilst sitting in a chair
  • Get dressed - get changed into comfortable day clothes
  • Get moving - walk to the bathroom and regularly around the ward

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Caption: Patient Gloria Andrew (left), Occupational Therapist Katie Wheelton (right) and Allied Health Assistant Rachel Frost enjoying a ward-based activity session during this week's Let's Get Moving campaign.


For more information:

James Fuller
Communications Advisor
Bay of Plenty District Health Board
027 839 1791 

Last updated: September 22, 2017