There are approximately 77 million baby boomers in the U.S. – with approximately 10,000 turning 65 each day.1 Because of this staggering number, we are focusing special attention on our commitment to caring for older adult patients in the ways they need it most.
Parkview Regional Medical Center and Parkview Hospital Randallia are both designated as NICHE (Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders) sites. We spoke to Lindy Sherman, MSN, RN-BC, AGCNS-BC, CMSRN, adult/gerontological clinical nurse specialist, Parkview Health, who leads the NICHE program at Parkview. Lindy shared,
“NICHE is the largest geriatric nursing program available and Parkview’s participation allows us to care in a way that offers positive experiences for the older adults in our care,” she said.
Lindy explained that during a hospital stay, physical function of older adult patients may decline which can lead to a longer hospital stay or other health concerns like falls, skin breakdown, joint pain or heart and breathing problems. Our goal is to help you or your loved one get back to your normal daily living. With that in mind, Lindy shared a list of helpful suggestions for those spending time in the hospital.
8 ways to increase your physical function in the hospital
1. Be as active as possible:
- Sit in the chair for meals
- Walk to the bathroom
- Walk in the hall as often as you can
2. Be safe. Ask for help. Don’t get up alone. Wear sturdy footwear.
3. Take part in your care. Talk with the doctor and nurse about your usual physical function, discharge goals and safe activity while in the hospital.
4. Tubes can make movement difficult but often do not prevent you from getting out of bed. Ask the nurse how you can keep moving with tubes and IVs.
5. Eat and drink well. Talk with the dietitian nutritionist if you don’t like the food or have concerns.
6. Make sure glasses, hearing aids, canes, walkers and other important items are located where you can reach them.
7. Get good sleep. Ask about nighttime routines that can assist you with getting rest. Earplugs may be helpful.
8. Try to do more each day to get back to your usual level of activity.
For more information on the NICHE program, visit www.nicheprogram.org.
1According to the NICHE website, http://www.nicheprogram.org/.