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Negative effects of bedrest - Carers UK Forum

Negative effects of bedrest

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This post is a follow-up to the recent thread by Albert (21/12/19) wherein reasonably independent people go into hospital for a checkup after a fall, uti, or other ill-defined reason and so often end up confined to bed for no good reason, apart from nurses' convenience and the patient often being meek, respectful and desire to do what they're told. This happened to my mother and that led me to research the effects of bedrest, especially after mum's astute consultant, who had just treated me!, asked exactly why are you bedbound?!? There was no good reason, apart from the request for community physiotherapy had been made to the wrong community physiotherapy unit! Law. case pending!

I just googled a few nursing/medical articles and I'd like to make us carers informed that just staying in bed, not sitting in a chair for part of the time, or moving our bodies, stretching, do have consequences after a relatively short time.

At one point, mum told me she was simply unable to stretch her arms up and wide because the neighbouring bay had spread over into her space. The nurses didn't understand that my 94year-old mother wanted to do some exercising!

Bodily functions, mobility and psychological functions are all impacted by being confined to bed. Just sitting in a chair makes some difference.

My experience makes me wonder if hospitals did more to keep patents mobile, rather than confine them to bed, wouldn't that help patients remain independent and reduce the amount of social care?

Interesting papers on bedrest:
https://academic.oup.com/biomedgerontol ... 076/559225

https://www.nursingtimes.net/clinical-a ... 9-06-2009/

https://www.nursingtimes.net/clinical-a ... 5-06-2009/

There are many more accounts of the effects of bedrest. It has so many implications on the quality of life for those we care for, and the cost to us and the community. Bedrest may be necessary and appropriate, but ought not be used for convenience sake for the compliance it affords, imho!

Michael: Any interest in pursuing this campaign against unnecessary hospital bedrest by Carers Uk? So often your membership and local authorities are left to care for their loved ones who have been left immobile in bed for days/weeks etc., when they are capable of more...
Just to support everything said by Rosemary.

My father suffered a fractured humerus last year (through the negligence of patient transport staff). He was then subject to six months in bed whilst the hospital/ LA debated his care needs. The impact on his health has been awful. We have submitted a complaint to the Ombudsman but legally it is proving very hard to determine what was caused by the injury and what was caused by being stuck in bed for 20 plus/ 24 hours a day for six months . When I made a complaint to the Hospital Trust they simply said they were short of therapists - that doesn't explain why nursing staff can't help those who are able to sit in chairs/use commodes etc. The hospital has numerous posters asking about respect and dignity but doesn't treat patients with the same.

It is very frustrating to see vulnerable patients ts suffer in this way. I would support Carers Uk acting on this as proposed by Rosemary.
I would support Carers UK acting on this as proposed by Rosemary.


Good luck with that ... anyone recall hospital discharges ?

Still up in the air ... problem getting worse ... almost week by week.

Bed rest ... not part of the care plan when being discharged from hospital ?

Ongoing problem for many carers with carees ... outside care support needed by many ... at a price ?

Rosemary has raised a very good issue ... part of a much larger one ?

On the one hand , The NHS and social care ... on the other , the carer army.

Never the twain shall ... be integrated ?
Many thanks for your support Faye and Chris!

Bedrest is convenient and sometimes may be the best practice. But not always. Literature has and is documenting the real and adverse effects of bed rest.

As I learnt, immobility can disqualify the patient from surgery. And not having surgery can lead to death. Immobility can lead to a life not worth living or the thought that it is.
Your welcome.

Now ... outside of those reading this post , anyone else ... preferably with some clout ?
Can’t say I have any clout ( unfortunately,) but I will highlight this thread to Michael and Lizzie.

Melly1
Hi Chris, would like to think Michael would take this up. Mum died when she did because she was deemed ineligible for surgery, although it was stressed that age wasn't a delimiter, but immobilty was.

Encouraging/promoting mobility in hospital, where appropriate, as opposed to confining people to bed could help keep people mobile, independent and help prevent psychological and physical demise, and minimize social/community costs?

MICHAEL, what do you think please??
As an extension of the existing HOSPITAL DISCHARGE issue ?

https://www.carersuk.org/forum/support- ... discharges


( A few " bed rest " cases posted in that thread. )

Bed bound with a broken hip and cancer but will deemed well enough to go home.

My experience of elderly social care in the UK.


In CarerLand , every issue tends to interlock with others.
Thanks, Melly!

If the hospitals would care for each patient's needs, it might save on social care services down the road. In mum's case, at least in part, but not exclusively, nurses gave way more attention to those with dementia versus the few without. Mum hardly ever was got up or even turned in bed.....

Michael, please consider instigating a campaign in this area. Mum is dead now but I gather others are suffering a similar, unnecessary but costly demise.
Associated issue: if you are on bedrest, how often are you turned? I would often ask mum if she'd been repositioned and she would say never. District nurses would tell me to turn mum every 2 hours but this was only ever done once in hospital!