QA Hospital patients ‘pimp zimmer frames’ in new project

Hospital staff at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham, were helping patients decorate their walking frames.

Pictured is: (back l-r) Sarah Smith, Chloe Russell, Kerry Budd, Poppy Young, Sarah Pomfret and Evelyn Donoghue with patients (front l-r) Joan, Doris, Ronald, Doris and Joan. 

Picture: Sarah Standing (170879-4934)
Hospital staff at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham, were helping patients decorate their walking frames. Pictured is: (back l-r) Sarah Smith, Chloe Russell, Kerry Budd, Poppy Young, Sarah Pomfret and Evelyn Donoghue with patients (front l-r) Joan, Doris, Ronald, Doris and Joan. Picture: Sarah Standing (170879-4934)

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PATIENTS at Queen Alexandra Hospital spent the afternoon personalising their walking frames as part of a new project.

The Pimp Your Zimmers session invited elderly patients in the medicine for older persons ward to decorate their walking frames and add some bright colours.

They seemed to enjoy decorating them and this is something we going to try and role out for all our elderly patients

Kerry Budd

Staff started the scheme after research from an Essex care home found having a bright walking frame reduced the chances of falls.

The study found if they are personalised, patients forget them less and are more likely to use them for walking.

At QA Hospital, in Cosham, staff helped the patients add material, ribbon, pipe cleaners and sparkly plastic to their walking frames along with their names.

Kerry Budd, operational manager for medicine and older persons rehabilitation and stroke, said: ‘This has been a really good exercise for the patients to get them engaged.

‘We asked them to remember certain memories to help choose what they wanted on their walking frames.

‘They seemed to enjoy decorating them and this is something we going to try and role out for all our elderly patients.’

The project was part of Focus on Frailty month which aims to help patients throughout their time in the hospital from admission to discharge.

Kerry added: ‘We want to improve their stay in hospital and the study in Essex found decorating walking frames can help prevent falls and encourage patients to walk about.

‘We wanted to use that as part of the Focus on Frailty month and encourage them to walk around the ward and get out of their beds safely.’

Sarah Pomfret is the team lead for physiotherapy for the medicine for older persons ward.

She said getting patients out of their beds and chairs and walking was really important.

‘Studies have found if you are aged over 80, every 10 days spent in bed is 10 years of muscle waste,’ she said.

‘So when we have elderly patients, anything we can do to get them up is good.

‘Also it is nice for them to have personalised walking frames and can recognise which one is theirs.

‘It is good fun for them too get involved and being crafty.’