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Pushing elderly patients to keep moving

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—Thelma Atkins ended up at UAB Hospital-Highlands after a neighbor in her senior living center ran over her feet with a motorized scooter.

Terri Middlebrooks, a nurse at the hospital, tried to figure out how active the 92-year-old Atkins was before the incident. “Are you up and moving at home?” she asked.

“I can manage, but I have to have help sometimes,” Atkins replied.

Atkins said she uses a walker to visit friends and to get to the communal dining room. But she's also fallen a few times in recent years.

“Don't quit walking here,” Middlebrooks told her. “It's the most important thing you can do. ... This bed is not your friend.”

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