When we are sick, it can be difficult to get out of bed and keep moving, and as we age, we naturally lose muscle mass and strength. For these reasons, older patients in hospital are at far greater risk of functional decline.
New memory corridors proposed for both The Prince Charles Hospital and Caboolture Hospital would encourage mobility and connection for older patients.
The corridors, titled ‘A Walk Down Memory Lane’, are just one of a few projects The Common Good is raising money for this Giving Day (part of the Season of Giving) to help older patients get home from hospital sooner.
“As we get older, we lose muscle very quickly when we become stationary. So, lying in bed just for a few days, older people can lose a lot of muscle – and that muscle is very important for walking and independence,” said Dr. Lucy Dakin, the Director of Geriatrics and Subacute Services at The Prince Charles Hospital.
“We know that older people who are lying in bed often can’t regain their independence and face a lot of obstacles to their recovery,” Dr Dakin added. “Giving them motivation and a reason to get out of bed helps them to improve that independence, so anything that we can do in the hospital environment to contribute to that is really valuable.”
Proposed Memory Corridors and their Benefits
This memory corridor idea was inspired by hospital walkways around the world, which include memorabilia and imagery from sporting games, theatre performances, hobbies, daily life, and more.
The proposed memory corridors at The Prince Charles Hospital and Caboolture Hospital, would be designed with local patients and their memories in mind.
“Old pictures of King Charles, old pictures of Brisbane that will stimulate their memory but that will also get them walking and stimulate their mobility as well,” said Jeff Rowland, Director of Internal Medicine, at The Prince Charles Hospital.
Jeff Rowland says the two main benefits of the memory corridors would be:
- To ignite patient memories and to make them feel more comfortable
- Encourage people to mobilise by giving them a task to complete and a destination to go to
These corridors would also provide a place where families could take a stroll together and catch up outside of a shared bedroom or noisy ward environment.
Supporting the Memory Corridor Projects
Would you like to contribute to making ‘A Walk Down Memory Lane’ a reality at both The Prince Charles Hospital and Caboolture Hospital?
Find out more or donate here.
“If it was your mum or dad who was lying in bed and not able to get up, what would you want to see done for them?” Dr Dakin asks. “I’m sure that you’d want to see an environment where they’re helped and motivated to get out of bed, to get their independence back, and to get home.”