AC FFC Tidbit of the Week for March 14, 2021: One, two, three, four…Step those Patients out the Door!

Are you helping your patients take steps in the right direction? A study published last month in JAMDA, the Journal of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine, offers more evidence of something we already suspected: hospital patients can be walking more than they currently do, and more walking while in the hospital may result in better physical activity levels and function once they leave the hospital.

The authors of the study, Factors Associated with Step Numbers in Acutely Hospitalized Older Adults: The Hospital-Activities of Daily Living Study, concluded: “Among acutely hospitalized older adults, step numbers double 1 day post-discharge, indicating that their capacity is underutilized during hospitalization. Physical performance and physical activity during hospitalization are key to increasing the number of steps post-discharge. The number of steps 1 week after discharge is a promising indicator of functional decline 1 month after discharge.”

Read the full article here:

https://www.jamda.com/article/S1525-8610(20)30538-7/fulltext?dgcid=raven_jbs_etoc_email

So, do you and your team have a plan to get patients walking more? How about a walking contest? Pedometers for staff—and steps only count if you’re walking with a patient? For patients with dementia, try motivating them to ambulate by walking to a window down the hall to look outside, getting a piece of candy from the nurse’s station, or telling them they can listen to music after their walk. Ask family members to encourage them to walk too, and be sure to offer praise once they start walking, especially if they were reluctant to do so. Share with us via email how you get your patients taking steps in the right direction. We’d love to hear from you and can share your ideas in a future tidbit!

Have a great week!

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