Hospitalized Alzheimer's Patient at Increased Risk for Cogitive Decline, Death
Posted Aug 31 2012 9:00am
Harvard researchers have found that a hospital stay is related to a
faster rate of mental decline and a heightened risk of dying or entering
a nursing home for those who already have Alzheimer’s disease.
study following nearly 800 individuals with mild Alzheimer’s disease
Those who had been hospitalized during the course of the
research were nearly twice as likely to experience increased mental
decline or death.
One in 16 passed away.
One is seven had to move to an institutionalized setting.
five suffered mental decline within one year of getting out of the
If the individual experienced delirium during his hospital
stay, it increased the risk for a poor outcome by about 12 percent.
prevention may represent an important strategy for reducing adverse
outcomes in this population," said Dr. Tamara Fong, an assistant
professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School and lead author of the
Delirium can be prevented through:
Visits by a family member or
other familiar person.
Supplying the individual with necessary
eyeglasses and hearing aids, as well as encouraging the individual to
get out of bed often for walks.
Delirium can also be prevented by
keeping older people out of the hospital and treating them in their
homes, said Fong.