Added Benefit: An Adult Activity Room
It’s not unusual to find activity rooms for children who are hospitalized. They can be a great distraction from whatever medical issue a child is facing, perhaps helping them to feel better faster and get back to normal.
But what about the same opportunity for adults?
An activity room is a thought that has taken shape for patients in the medical acute unit at OSF HealthCare Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria, Illinois. The adult patients span all ages and health conditions – from newly diagnosed diabetics to those with chronic conditions - with a typical length of hospital stay around five days.
“Patients sometimes are impulsive and they're not realizing that they're a little bit in a weaker state while they're in the hospital even though they're normally independent, they’re in a little bit of a weakened state so they have a little bit higher risk of falling. So we were like ‘what can we do to lessen that boredom?’ So you provide them an activity and if we have an activity room and provide them some activities, then when they are back in their room they’re not as bored,” explained Tara Mosley, manager of patient care for the 20-bed medical acute unit who helped develop the activity room.
While it started as an effort to engage patients and decrease falls, they are already seeing other benefits, too.
“We’re noticing a decrease in call light usage which is really great, because patients are down here, they’re being active, having less needs. We’re actually letting our patients eat down here, too, so that's really great for socialization for our patients. More data that we're looking at is decreased length of stay and then a decrease in bed alarms, also, which ties into your falls.”
There is just about something for everyone in the activity room, from puzzles and board games, to crafts, books, a CD player for music, a TV along with a Wi game, and even a bingo game, which Mosley says gets everyone’s competitive juices flowing! Every activity in the room was donated.
Family members and visitors are welcome to join the patient in the activity, and staff takes items to patient rooms, as well, for those unable to make it to the activity room.
Patient Care Technicians accompany the patients to the room and help lead the activities. That has also proven to be an unexpected benefit for both patients and staff.
“Our techs are a little bit of the younger generation and some of our older generation patients have taught our techs how to play games like Euchre and other games so it's been pleasurable how they're teaching us things too.”
Mosley and her staff will continue to gather data about the positive effects of the adult activity room, with a goal of sharing the concept throughout all OSF HealthCare hospitals and, eventually, beyond.
The activity room continues to be filled though donations. Anyone interested in donating an item can contact Tara Mosley at (309) 624-6036.