Two studies concerning pacing by nursing home residents are presented. The first was a cross-sectional survey of 402 residents, which found that 39% of the subjects were pacers. In comparison to residents who did not pace, the pacers had fewer medical diagnoses, better appetites, and had resided in the facility for fewer years. Additionally, pacing was positively related to cognitive impairment and to past life-threatening experiences. Results of the second study, an observational study of six cognitively impaired residents who paced frequently, showed that these residents paced more when the environmental conditions were conducive to pacing (e.g., adequate lighting, enough room within which to pace). We believe that pacing is a reflection of good health within the nursing home population and suggest that caregivers may want to encourage rather than inhibit this behavior in some nursing home residents.
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