WGPlus (Archive)

Keep moving to ‘have a life’

Dr Amit Arora is a Consultant Physician and Geriatrician at University Hospital of North Midlands, Stoke on Trent and an Honorary Clinical Lecturer at Keele University. In this blog he takes a look at the impact deconditioning can have on patients and what can be done to help tackle it.

Older people, whether in hospitals, care homes or at their own homes, who do not get enough opportunity to mobilise, can have an increased risk of reduced bone mass & muscle strength, reduced mobility, increased dependence, confusion and demotivation. These problems can be attributed to the phenomenon of what can be termed as ‘Deconditioning Syndrome’.

This affects well-being as well as physical function and could result in falls, constipation, incontinence, depression, swallowing problems, pneumonia and leads to demotivation, and general decline. Deconditioning Syndrome can happen in hospitals right from the time of entry, care homes and also patients’ own homes.

Preventing Deconditioning Syndrome requires a broader strategic approach that includes physical therapy, maintenance of nutrition, medical management, and psychological support including addressing loneliness; essentially addressing elements of the Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment.
Researched Links:

NHS England:  Time to move: Get up, get dressed, keep moving

Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment - British Geriatrics Society