Hospitals are Failing our Population Living with Dementia

Friday, April 27, 2018

Research out of the University College London (UCL) in the UK looked into how often hospital staff recognized dementia in patients. The study found that regardless of diagnosis status healthcare professionals are still failing to understand and recognize the disease. In 2008 hospitals were able to recognize 48.7% of patients who had dementia, which has increased to 61.5% in 2016. However, this percentage does not reflect the experience of ethnic minorities who are under-recognized twice as often. Those who are younger, have a disability, or are not married tend to also be under-recognized. With the challenges of dementia it is impertinent that hospitals be equipped to serving their unique needs. Dr. Andrew Sommerlad, the lead author of the study, mentions that sharing health records is a crucial element to serving this population properly. He explains that “while it is great that there is some improvement, a third of people with dementia are discharged from hospital without it being recognised that they have dementia. They may need help, for example, with remembering agreed new plans about their health and with remembering to take their medication, but this help cannot be given unless the condition is identified.” Recognizing that there is an issue hospitals and patients are facing is the first step, now it is time to implement plans for improvement.

Source: EurekAltert!; April 24, 2018; https://eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2018-04/ucl-hom042318.php

Author: Chris Lane

Date Retrieved: April 25, 2018

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