Researchers support rehabilitation for older people after COVID-19
Older people recovering from COVID-19 infection in Newcastle have received a boost to their rehabilitation, courtesy of researchers from the AGE Research Group (Ageing, Geriatrics & Epidemiology) at Newcastle University.
Dr Christopher Hurst, a postdoctoral Research Associate in the AGE Research Group, funded by the NIHR Newcastle Biomedical Research Centre, coordinated delivery of a range of equipment to NHS rehabilitation Unit, Eden Court this week.
Professor Miles Witham, Honorary Consultant Geriatrician and Professor of Trials for Older People in the AGE research group, is currently deployed to Eden Court as part of the Newcastle COVID pandemic response, and commented:
‘It is vital to help people rehabilitate through exercise following illness; this can speed up recovery, as well as strengthen muscles following prolonged inactivity. With the number of older people having suffered from COVID-19 across Newcastle, this can go a long way to easing future pressures on the NHS, by providing ways for people to maintain health, fitness and activity’.
This additional equipment will help the NHS to provide exercise rehabilitation to older people recovering from COVID-19, and to do this whilst they are still isolated in single rooms and unable to access the unit gym. This means that rehabilitation can start earlier, helping older people recovering from COVID-19 to improve their strength and function and get home more quickly.
Exercise training represents an important component of rehabilitation for older adults, helping patients to return home quicker as well as counteracting the accelerated loss of muscle mass and strength (sarcopenia) resulting from inactivity. The AGE research group has a special interest in sarcopenia, and ongoing research within the group is focussed on understanding the causes and consequences of sarcopenia, and on translating these insights into new drug, nutrition and exercise interventions to prevent or reverse sarcopenia.