#endPJparalysis has gained some serious traction over the past month but what is it about?
As older people arrive at the emergency department they are taken out of their own clothes and put into a hospital gown or hospital PJ’s. This may be practical but it promotes the dependence. It makes elderly appear as sick, unwell and unable to do things for themselves. This spirals out of control into a deconditoning cascade. The coping strategies an independent elderly person uses to get through each day are stripped away. Suddenly they are now unable to do things for themselves and require help, the longer they have help, the less likely they are to regain their independence. This is a concequence of their frailty.
Have a think. How must it feel to be taken out of your own clothes, put into a bed and told not to do anything without assistance regardless of your independence.
Hospitals around the United Kingdom are working together to improve the service they provide for frail older people when they are admitted. They are campaigning to promote independence when elderly patients are in hospital and they are gaining traction. The message is spreading quickly. As of today 11 million impressions on twitter, including an appearance on BBC breakfast news, and this will continue to grow and hopefully ignite a change in public health.
Starting rehabilitation as soon as possible in the elderly is one of the most important messages in the world of geri-PT. Getting people up and moving in their own clothes can only help kick start their rehabilitation.
Where are you in the world, do you have a similar issue with older people in hospital? Let us know, let us contribute and improve health for elderly around the world.