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Avoiding hospital readmission of a person with dementia

28 February 2019
Volume 28 · Issue 4


People with dementia can be confused or distressed by hospital admission, which can then impact on their physical health. Aysha Mendes considers ways to reduce distress and enhance wellbeing

When a person with dementia is admitted to hospital, they are usually there seeking an improvement in their health related to a condition that is not connected to their dementia. However, the confusion and distress that can result from a hospital stay for a person with dementia can contribute to a deterioration in their health. Therefore, not only are early identification of their dementia and appropriate, sensitive care essential to their overall experience and outcome in hospital, they are also vital to avoiding readmission at a later date.

Some people with dementia may appear not to understand what is being discussed and give the impression they don't have the ability to contribute to decisions being made about their care. However, if no assessment has taken place to confirm they lack capacity, every effort should be made to effectively communicate with them, and encourage their involvement in their care, and in decisions being made about them (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), 2018).

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