Aged care rehabilitation patients encouraged to ditch their pyjamas

An older male patient stands with four female health professionals
Consultant Geriatrician Sook Lee, ACRU Nurse Unit Manager Joanne Hughes, patient David Pope, Coordinator Occupational Therapy Vikki Price and Consultant Geriatrician Heather Lane
April 9, 2018

The Rockingham Aged Care Rehabilitation Unit (ACRU) is encouraging patients to ditch their pyjamas and get up, dressed and moving in a new campaign to improve their rehabilitation and recovery.

ACRU Nurse Unit Manager Joanne Hughes said it was a common misconception amongst 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,” Joanne 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 targets staff, patients, family and carers through a series of posters and infographics.

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.

Coordinator Occupational Therapy Vikki Price said the whole 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,” Vikki 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 patient David Pope is happy to be part of this campaign. 

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

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