When your doctors feel your hospital stay is no longer needed, they discharge you. But for some time, when considering elderly patients, it’s been known there is a link between patients who have dementia and how hospital stays can affect their cognitive and physical condition. Worse, for these dementia patients who require a readmission to the hospital within a month after a previous discharge, it can have significant effects on their dementia.
New research from Japan has looked into these dementia patients, seeking to understand the risks they face when a hospital stay is necessary. The research focused on elderly patients, sixty five years or older, who had been hospitalized.
Patients with dementia were found to be twice as likely to need hospitalization over non-dementia patients. Further, the need for hospitalization or readmission related to the need for admission in the first place. Patients who had been admitted due to some physical trauma such as a hip fracture were far more likely to return to the hospital than those who had non-trauma medical conditions.
The researchers outlined three areas to be aware of. Elderly patients with dementia may need more assistance in adhering to their post-discharge medical instructions, such as medication instructions. Such patients might be unable to clearly explain any health problems they’re dealing with. And hospitals should be more involved in creating treatment and discharge plans for dementia patients that address each patient’s specific needs.
Help your loved one with dementia avoid repeat hospitalization by watching for the likely problems. #HealthStatus
- 1 Hip fractures saw higher readmission rates than gallbladder surgery.
- 2Inability to communicate accurately increases risks for readmission.
- 3Understanding post hospital care is difficult for those with dementia.