Why you recover faster at home

For many of us, we can’t wait to get home from hospital and the sooner the better. This isn’t just because it’s where we want to be, it’s also better for your recovery once you no longer need hospital care.

Let’s get you moving

In our community hospitals, our teams work hard to make sure all our patients get up, get dressed and get moving.

Our ‘Let’s get you moving’ campaign is part of our Home First scheme to make sure you can return home safely, sooner.

Mary Delphine Denn, 82, pictured, knew the important of getting up and dressed while she was having rehab at Faversham Cottage Hospital. She was keen to get home to her husband Ernest, 92, who visited her daily after her fall on November 2017.

Physical strength

Getting dressed is something we do every day – but if you are in hospital, it can mean the difference between going home to live independently or with support.

Research shows that if you stay in bed for long periods when in hospital, you lose mobility, fitness and muscle strength – making it harder for you to regain your independence. You are also likely to stay in hospital longer.

If you are aged 80 or over, you can lose 10 per cent of your muscle mass, after just 10 days in a hospital bed.

There’s extensive evidence that getting dressed in your own clothes while in hospital is more dignifying, provides a sense of normality and means you are more likely to move around. This, in turn, helps maintain that muscle and the ability to do things for yourself.

So, if you are in hospital, encourage friends or family to bring in fresh clothes and shoes so you can up, get dressed and get moving.

Rest

Sleep is the body’s time to rebuild, restore and rejuvenate, and it’s most important to have quality sleep when recovering from a serious injury or illness. Hospitals are busy places with lots of interruptions, talking and noises from equipment, which can cause long-term sleep deprivation, slowing down your recovery. So, the faster you can get back to your own bed, the better.

Infection

You are at less risk of infection at home. When you are sick, you are likely to have reduced resistance to picking up bacteria or fungal infections, such as a urinary tract infection or pneumonia.

Mental wellbeing

Being in familiar surroundings with support from loved ones, family and friends is one of the best things for your mental wellbeing.

So, when you are really sick, our hospitals are the place you need to be. But once you are medically stable, you recover much better and faster at home, if you have the right support around you.

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