Mobilization of Vulnerable Elders or MOVE

by Lois Etienne on February 17, 2012

in Alzheimer's and Dementia,Caregiver Support,Senior Health and Safety

How many of you have said, “If I could just have a couple of days to lie in bed and relax”? We’ve probably all said it at one time or another, especially when we’re sick. But nurses will tell you that the truth is, lying still in bed is the same as riding in an airplane for hours on end. Not moving leads to all sorts of things like pneumonia, edema, blood clots, pressure sores and even delusions!

I just read this article about a study going on in Canada called MOVE. It revolves around making sure that seniors, in particular, move more when they are hospitalized. As an RN I believe their stats are probably correct. They state that about a third of seniors lose their ability to do at least one activity of daily living during a hospital stay and about half of those aren’t able to recover the function by the time they are discharged. They also state that when seniors are hospitalized, they only spend about 40 minutes a day standing, that’s when they are transferring to their chair or going to the bathroom!

So, the moral of the story is MOVE. Move now, move often. Even if you’re 75 years old, start a walking program if you can. Movement keeps the body young and flexible. And if you’re hospitalized, be a pest, get help and get up. As James Brown once sang so well,

“Get up offa that thing, and shake ’till you feel better.”

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