When you care for older patients on your hospital unit, you are often seeing them at their worst—sick, sometimes frail, and perhaps afraid. It can help to remember that these people were once vibrant and active, and very often still have that spirit inside them. They just need some encouragement! Ask them about their favorite way to get exercise, either now or when they were younger and try to visualize them doing those activities: hiking, swimming, bike riding, dancing. This may help cue you and your co-workers to encourage them to participate in their own care as much as possible, and maintain mobility by walking to the bathroom or down the hall.
Check out this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVZVfRDAUpM – you’ll love it!
We challenge you and your team to pick a few patients this week to get up and dancing! You don’t have to be as nimble as the couple in the video—even a little arm waving, toe-tapping, hand-clapping, or hip-swinging will do! Practicing function focused care while they are in the hospital can help increase the odds that they will be back to dancing (and doing other things!) once they head home. And that’s something we can all celebrate!