I am writing in agreement with Jack Kelly’s piece on exercise and the effects on the elderly (Study: Moderate Exercise Helps Aging Stay Mobile,” May 28). In 2006, 503,300 total hospital stays were related to pressure ulcers as the main diagnosis. This is an increase of nearly 80 percent since the 1990s. Pressure ulcers are the breakdown of tissue over a bony prominence as a result of immobility. Compared to stays for other conditions, pressure ulcers were more often discharged to nursing facilities and more often resulted in death.
As a registered nurse and a future nurse practitioner I believe that this information should be made more available to the public. Exercise programs for the elderly need to be encouraged and made more accessible.
Medicare was found to be the most common payer of adult stays related to pressure ulcers, a bill that exceeds $11 billion a year. Education regarding the importance of exercise in the elderly will not only save the health care system billions of dollars but will also improve the quality of life for those in a time of vulnerability.
NATASHA GOMBAMI, R.N.