Deconditioning Initiative gets Royal approval

​Staff from the Older Adults service demonstrated their Sit up, Get Dressed and Keep Moving initiative to HRH The Countess of Wessex during her visit to Royal Stoke. Dr Amit Arora and his team launched a nationwide  initiative to try to stop older people becoming deconditioned in hospital or after their discharge. For every 10 days of bed rest in hospital, the equivalent of 10 years of muscle ageing occurs in people over 80-years-old. During the visit the team put on an exhibition for HRH to try out some of the equipment they use.

Dr Arora said: "Many years ago I was subject to restricted mobility following an emergency appendicectomy. It took me a surprisingly long time to regain my strengths and abilities. When I relate this to the frail older people that I see in hospitals, I can understand why someone who was able to function well before they came to hospital takes longer to regain their functions. We explained to HRH that a prolonged hospital stay, bed rest and other risks lead to loss of muscle power, strength and abilities. She agreed that this is something we surely need to avoid."

Nadine Opiniano, Matron for Care of older people, said: "As one of the foreign nurses who proudly works at UHNM, it was with great honour that we were chosen to showcase the services and initiatives that we have doing for Older People. She clearly shows an interest in the care of older people, particularly patients with dementia. HRH tried our assisted devices and commented on our deconditioning campaign and acknowledged that times have changed dramatically, that staying in bed is a thing of the past."

Amanda Futers, Clinical Nurse Specialist in care of older people, said: "It is of vital importance that our older patients are encouraged to stay as independent as possible. Our wards will do our very best to provide care, advice and equipment to support this. Getting up out of bed, getting dressed and being mobile during acute illness is a fundamental part of the care plan. In addition, we promote person centred holistic care, which is multi-disciplinary team led. HRH tried on some goggles, which replicate macular degeneration, which shows how you would feel as a frail persons would. HRH commented how disorientating it was for people with visual impairment. It was a great honour and privilege to showcase our successes with HRH who was genuinely interested in what our service can provide."