Rockingham General Hospital Aged Care Rehabilitation Unit encouraging patients to ditch the pyjamas


Rockingham General Hospital’s Aged Care Rehabilitation Unit nursing and medical team with patient David Pope.
Rockingham General Hospital’s Aged Care Rehabilitation Unit nursing and medical team with patient David Pope.

THE ROCKINGHAM General Hospital Aged Care Rehabilitation Unit (ACRU) will encourage patients to ditch their pyjamas and get up, dressed and moving in a new campaign to improve their rehabilitation and recovery.

Rehabilitation patients will be encouraged by staff to spend some time out of bed and family and carers will be asked to bring in patient’s day clothes.

Occupational therapy co-ordinator Vikki Price said the idea behind the campaign was getting patients home sooner.

“Getting up, dressed and moving prevents deconditioning, encourages independence and reduces the risk of harm from falls, infection, thrombosis and delirium,” Ms Price said.

“Patients want to be at home, not in hospital, so it’s important that we always keep that shared goal in mind during their rehab.”

ACRU nurse unit manager Joanne Hughes said it was a common misconception among both patients and staff that a hospital stay meant wearing only pyjamas and resting in bed for the duration of the stay.

“Just one week of bed rest results in 10 per cent muscle loss, and not just in the arms and legs but also in the heart and lungs,” Ms Hughes said.

“Not to mention there are other risks around infection from wearing the same clothing for too long.

“Wearing pyjamas is a mindset – if you are in your day clothes, you’re more likely to feel like yourself and be mobile, which keeps you fit and independent.”

The Ditch the Pyjamas campaign will target staff, patients, family and carers through a series of posters and info graphics.

ACRU patient and Warnbro resident David Pope said he was happy to be part of the campaign.

“It’s nice to be encouraged to wear my normal clothes, I feel more like myself,” he said.

ACRU would hold a special launch event followed by a week of intense education for staff and patients to kick start the new campaign.

MORE: Face Your Waste, Perth: would a clear bin make you throw out less?

MORE: Former King Edward Memorial Hospital doctor cleared of misconduct over death of unborn twin

MORE: Man fined for firing Nerf gun from car at another motorist

MORE: Perth Anzac Day services 2018: full list of events and locations