Keeping or increasing function in frail older people after a hospital admission  

Hugh Senior is an epidemiologist at the University of Queensland, Australia, and Matthew Parsons is a gerontologist at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. Their paper Promoting independence in frail older people: a randomised controlled trial of a restorative care service in New Zealand has recently been published in Age and Ageing journal.function in frail older people

Many older people will experience a decline in their level of physical function during the period of developing an acute illness that requires hospitalisation and discharge from hospital. A third will be discharged from hospital having not recovered the level of function that they had prior to becoming unwell. The loss of physical function includes losses in key areas required for independent living such as dressing, bathing, getting out of bed or a chair, toileting, eating and walking across a room. As such, this has an impact on the older person’s ability to live independently and safely at home, and increases both the likelihood that the older person will need to reside at a residential care facility and the likelihood of death. A possible intervention to help older people with hospital associated disability is to provide restorative rehabilitation after discharge from hospital, for those who may benefit, with an aim to return to a level of independence where they can return to their own home. Continue reading