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New nursing home philosophy: Limit time in wheelchairs

RALEIGH (AP) -- You can see it at most long-term care centers -- residents in wheelchairs lining hallways, just sitting or rolling slowly down the hall. But a health service director at a Durham center says it's time to stop parking older people in wheelchairs. Leslie Jarema of The Forest at Duke says in the old-school nursing homes, people are sitting around the nurses' station and asking for help because they are uncomfortable. The Midwest-based group called GROW, or Get Residents Out of Wheelchairs, has taken up the cause on a national level. The nonprofit urges nursing homes to help residents use regular chairs, couches, recliners. The group, which has asked Jarema to speak about her approach at The Forest at Duke, also tries to get residents to be as active as possible, encouraging walking to meals, going on foot to the bathroom or shower and taking outside walks with family and friends when possible. (Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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