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Exercise for Hospitalized Older Adults

  • Gail M. SullivanEmail author

Key Points

  • Older adults are at high risk for deconditioning as a result of bed rest during hospitalization.

  • Deconditioning results in loss of function and discharge to higher levels of care, such as a nursing home, even after short or elective hospital stays.

  • Older adults can participate in walking, resistance exercises, and early rehabilitation programs without increasing adverse events during acute hospitalization.

  • Geriatric acute hospital units using comprehensive geriatric assessment, multidisciplinary teams, and interventions targeted to preserving function and mobility have the strongest evidence for reducing decline.

  • Older adults for whom exercise may present significant risk or for whom exercise is not possible may benefit from passive range of motion and changes in position.

  • System-wide interventions, such as changing the default activity order to out of bed, are recommended by experts yet require more study.

Keywords

Hospital Older adult Elder Deconditioning Immobility Bed rest Exercise Geriatric assessment Geriatric unit ACE unit Geriatric consult team Physical therapy Walking in hospital 

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Resources

  1. Hospital Elder Life Program (HELP) program to reduce delirium in hospitalized older adults, which prevents functional loss. http://www.hospitalelderlifeprogram.org/. Accessed 9 Dec 2014.
  2. Kleinpell RM, Fletcher K, Jennings BM. Reducing functional decline in hospitalized elders, in patient safety and quality: an evidence-based handbook for nurses, Chap. 11. Hughes RG, editor. Rockville: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; 2008. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK2629/. Accessed 9 Dec 2014.
  3. Nurses Improving Care for Healthsystem Elders (NICHE) Try This® series of assessment tools, http://hartfordign.org/practice/try_this/ For reducing hospital functional decline, http://consultgerirn.org/uploads/File/trythis/try_this_31.pdf. Accessed 9 Dec 2014.

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UConn Center on AgingUniversity of Connecticut School of MedicineFarmingtonUSA

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