Believe it or not, the holidays are right around the corner! You will probably have more family and friends visiting during the holiday season, and it’s a perfect opportunity to get them involved in Function Focused Care. One of the many benefits of optimizing function and keeping residents strong is that they can more easily participate in holiday festivities and go on outings with loved ones.
Click here to open an “ambulation record” sheet that staff and family members can use to more easily track how far a resident walks each day. By keeping a record of progress, visiting family members & friends may be more likely to attempt ambulation so the resident can reach his/her goal.
Share these tips with your residents’ families and friends:
10 tips to help your loved ones optimize function and increase strength:
- Ask your family member about setting goals for fitness or activities of daily living (dressing, bathing, etc.), such as going to an exercise class regularly, walking to meals, or transferring to a chair from a wheelchair regularly.
- Find out when exercise classes are held and remind them to go.
- Try to avoid visits during exercise class times so they can attend class.
- Better yet---attend exercise class with them if that will help motivate them to go!
- Tell them how important exercise is to promote overall health, increase strength, reduce risk of falls, fractures and hospitalizations, and to reduce and ultimately prevent pain.
- Tell them about how you like to exercise and what it has done for you.
- When you visit your family member, help get them moving instead of sitting in their room and talking. Go for a walk outside or to a pleasant spot inside, or do basic range of motion exercises with them such as rotating their joints (ankles, shoulders, knees and wrists).
- For birthdays and the holiday season, buy them gifts that promote independence such as scrub mitts for residents who have problems with dexterity, zipper extenders for those who have trouble putting on clothes, and clothing that is easier to put on such as elastic waist pants and pull-on or zippered shirts instead of buttons. Hand weights, pedometers to measure steps, stationary pedalers and elastic bands are great to help promote physical activity!
- If they have a decline in functions, such as after an illness, resist the urge to do everything for them. It is important to promote their function and help them to get back to their baseline.
- Tell them you know they can reach their goals. A simple, “I know you can do it!” and “You’re doing great!” can go a long way. Tell them you are proud of them for their effort. Everyone likes to hear things like this!