Get up, get dressed, keep moving!
NHS Ayrshire & Arran is encouraging patients to ‘get up, get dressed and keep moving’ while they are in hospital as part of a new campaign to end PJ paralysis.
Traditionally, when we are unwell we tend to put on our pyjamas (PJs) and go to bed to rest and recover. While sometimes that is necessary for a period of time, it is a common misconception that this is always best for our recovery.
Studies have shown that, for some patients, spending ten days in bed ages their muscles by ten years. One week of bed rest can result in ten per cent muscle loss.
Professor Hazel Borland, Nurse Director, explains: “We know that prolonged bed rest is not a good way to recover from many illnesses or injuries and may actually make recovery time longer.
”Staying in bed for too long, not getting up and about, and not trying to wash and dress yourself can mean that you struggle to get back to normal when you go home. This is known as deconditioning.”
Raising awareness about the effects of PJ paralysis aims to stop patients becoming deconditioned and get them up and moving around as soon as they are able to.
We are asking relatives, family and friends to encourage their loved ones who are in hospital to get up and walk around, even for small distances, and when they are able, to take them for a short walk.
There are some things that patients need to enable them to walk or move around when in hospital, so we have developed cards for visitors with a list of items that they can bring for the people they are visiting, including:
well-fitting footwear; day clothing; night clothing; glasses and/or hearing aids; walking aid; and toiletries.
The cards will be given to visitors in wards and a leaflet has been designed to provide patients with information about how we can help them to get up, get dressed and keep moving.
Angela O’Neill, Associate Nurse Director - Acute Services said: “We know that keeping active isn’t possible for some patients. However, our staff will work with patients to help them keep as active as they possibly can, while ensuring they are kept safe. “Every little bit of activity can help to keep you healthy - for example, walking to the end of the ward and back. “So, if you are coming into hospital, or are visiting a loved one, the key to recovery is to keep active.” To find out more about end PJ paralysis, speak to the ward staff. Photograph: Left to right: Caroline Jenkins, Project Administrator, Amanda Johnson, Improvement Advisor - Unscheduled Care, Phil Korsah, Associate Medical Director, Lorna Loudon, Clinical Nurse Manager and some of our physical therapists display our End PJ Paralysis leaflets and cards.