First-of-a-kind care home study reduces need for medication

Residents and colleagues from Cameron House Care Home in Bury have
been involved in a unique research study with The University of Salford
and body positioning equipment specialists, Simple Stuff Works.


The study set out to see if night time positioning products could
benefit adults with health conditions such as Parkinson’s, rheumatoid
arthritis, asthma and dementia, which mean they often spend long periods
of time lay down in one position. This can cause problems with
breathing, digestion, circulation and negatively affect mood.

Helping to alleviate these side-affects, the night-time positioning
equipment uses specially designed pillows and support systems to take
pressure off the body, make sleeping more comfortable and prevent
residents rolling into harmful positions.

The study involved 12 residents and looked at factors such as pain
levels, sleep quality, choke risk, skin health, oxygen levels in the
blood, food and drink intake and overall mood. A personal prescription
for the night time positioning equipment was then made for each resident
over a duration of 12 weeks. All colleagues at Cameron House helped to
support the study, with five completing equipment training.

The results showed significant improvements to residents’ quality of
life, including improved sleep for most (70%) of the participants.
Almost two thirds (60%) reported less pain and the remaining 40% had no
pain, including a resident amputee who no longer experienced phantom
pain in his leg by the end of the study.


Pain medication (Analgesia) was reduced or discontinued in 40% of the
participants, while Asthma medication was also discontinued for one
participant by the end of the study. 20% also saw a reduction in
laxative medication.

Depression was decreased by almost a third (30%), with colleagues
reporting more social engagement in the day amongst the residents
involved, such as taking part in activities and games and better
interactions when relatives came to visit.

Food and fluid intake was also improved with 50% of the residents
gaining weight which is beneficial to people suffering from a
deteriorating condition. Choke risk was also reduced by half (50%),
including one participant who started the study requiring continuous
assisted feeding while seated/lying in bed, but by week twelve he was
able to sit unaided and feed himself bacon on toast and drink a cup of

Published by Residential Forum

The Residential Forum is to promote the achievement of high standards of care and support for children and adults living in residential care and nursing homes, supported housing, residential schools and colleges, hospices and hostels. It contributes to improving the quality of service to the public. Members of the Forum are people of standing and experience drawn from the public, private and voluntary sectors, as well as some who can speak for service users and carers.

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