When it comes to maintaining (or improving!) function and mobility in your patients with dementia, knowing what they were able to do prior to coming to the hospital is crucial. You may be able to find this information in the patient’s electronic record, but how often do you search it out and how easy is it to find?
Baltimore Washington Medical Center, one of our research study participants, has a great idea. They have a white board in each patient’s room that lists what the patient could do prior to their hospital admission, so the healthcare team can quickly determine the person’s baseline function and mobility, and set daily goals to help the person maintain or even increase them. The board also notes if the person wears glasses, hearing aids, uses a cane, etc., which is important to know when communicating with them and encouraging them to move.
If your unit doesn’t already use “White Board Wisdom”, consider trying this simple, practical way to remind staff, patients and their families what the person can do and work together to keep them doing it!