A visit to the emergency room or an extended hospital stay for an individual with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or early memory loss will result in confusion, fear, fatigue and possibly agitation, aggression, or delusions – or all of the above!
A recent post on DementiaToday’s website (www.dementiatoday.com) shared a nice brochure entitled, “Hospitalization Happens: A Guide to Hospital Visits for Individuals with Memory Loss,” from the National Institute on Aging.
Given my recent experience, as detailed in my blog post of 12/3/12, this brochure shares many good ideas for caregivers and families, including how to be prepared in advance of hospitalization.
These tips are just as beneficial to professional healthcare providers in the hospital setting, as well. The brochure is a reminder that we must remember that each “patient” with memory loss is, first and foremost, a person. No two people with dementia are alike, and each deserves to be cared for in an individualized manner.
Again – as healthcare providers – we must think about the impact of this difficult situation for individuals with dementia and their families. Hospitalization is likely will be catastrophic and costly. We can do better, if only we took the time to try.