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Hospitalization May Cause Temporary Memory Problems for Seniors

Posted Apr 21 2011 10:06pm

Doctors Lounge

Hospitalization of seniors may cause temporary memory loss and difficulty understanding discharge instructions, but many return to normal within a month, a new study says.

The findings suggest that seniors may need extra support from health workers and family immediately after they’re released from the hospital, said the researchers at Northwestern University in Chicago.

“A helper on the day of discharge could make sure a senior understands discharge instructions and help her get home and follow instructions safely,” lead author Dr. Lee Lindquist, an assistant professor of geriatrics at the Feinberg School of Medicine, said in a university news release.

“If a patient is by herself the day of a hospital discharge, it’s possible that she won’t comprehend complicated medical instructions, increasing medication errors and chances of re-hospitalization,” she added.

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