For Older Adults With Dementia, Transitions in Care Can Increase Risk for Serious Problems

bitingnails.jpgA great article on how to minimize trauma from transitions in care for your caree!  Thank you for visiting us at Advocare. We provide Aging Life CareTM to area residents throughout the South Florida area.

(American Geriatrics Society via ScienceDaily) A transition is a physical move from one location to another with a stay of at least one night. For older adults, especially those with dementia, some transitions may be unavoidable and necessary. However, unnecessary transitions are linked to problems such as medication errors, hospital readmissions, and increased risk of death.

What’s more, good dementia care emphasizes the need for familiar people and familiar environments, and this can be more difficult to support when too many transitions take place. Having coordinated care and a long-term care plan in place that considers the needs of a person with dementia may reduce unnecessary transitions, say the authors of a study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

In their study, researchers from the UBC Centre for Health Services and Policy Research in Vancouver, British Columbia, followed 6,876 people aged 65 and older who were diagnosed with dementia between 2001 and 2002. The researchers analyzed healthcare data from 2000 until the study ended in 2011. Besides dementia, 23 percent of the group had no other chronic diseases at the beginning of the study, while 44 percent of the group had two or more chronic diseases.

The researchers found a spike in the number of transitions during the first year of dementia diagnosis. Sixty-five percent of the study participants experienced at least one transition during the year of their diagnosis; 17 percent experienced three or more transitions, most of which were hospitalizations. More than 60 percent of people were hospitalized in the year of their diagnosis, and these hospital stays generally lasted for a month or longer.

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