According to the American Academy of Nursing, as many as two thirds of all older adults who are hospitalized leave the hospital unable to walk independently even though they walked independently when they were admitted to the hospital. Older adults lose their ability to walk independently because they do not stay as active as possible while they are in hospital. So, if you are hospitalized, walk as much as possible.
Be proactive. Even if you don’t feel like walking, you should try. Of course, you should speak with your doctor or nurse before you do. If a nurse or social worker is not available to walk with you, it’s likely that a friend or family member or other health care buddy can accompany you.
Here are four reasons you should walk as much as you can during your hospital stay:
- Walking will help ensure you continue to walk independently after you leave the hospital.
- Walking when you can tends to reduce the time you spend in the hospital as well as your need for physical therapy.
- Walking lessens the likelihood of your needing a new nursing home placement.
- Walking tends to speed up your recovery rate post surgery.
To learn more, read this advice from the American Academy of Nursing.