Regardless of why an older person is admitted to hospital, their ability to move and care for themselves will determine the care and services they will need while in hospital and after discharge.
Older people in hospital are at risk of functional decline and de-conditioning as early as two days after admission1. As clinicians, we should encourage older people to maintain or improve their mobility and self-care skills participating in activities.
This topic gives an overview of the importance of mobility and self-care, tools to identify issues, and strategies to improve an older person’s mobility and self-care. In addition to following health service policy and procedures, consider the following actions and discuss them with colleagues and managers.
1. Hirsch, C.H., et al., The Natural-History of Functional Morbidity in Hospitalized Older Patients. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 1990. 38(12): p. 1296-1303.