Safe hospital stays with dementia should focus on preventing the all-too-common side-effects of delirium. See a special ER for seniors, equipped with brilliant features that speed comfort and care to this population.
DENVER – Researchers have discovered that hospital stays for people with Alzheimer’s can be hazardous. So much so that an alarming percentage of those patients die within one year of their hospital visits.
Continued below video…
The problem is a condition called “delirium”- a state of extra confusion and agitation brought on by the intensity of hospital stays, most especially the busy environment in hospital E.R.’s. In fact, the problem of delirium is so severe for patients who already have a damaged brain, that both researchers and independent Alzheimer’s experts agree that caregivers need to know the risk so they can help a loved one with dementia avoid the hospital altogether if possible.
Doctors at Lutheran Medical Center, who serve the biggest senior population in the metro area, have made changes to help their older patients avoid the delirium diagnosis if they have no choice but to go the hospital.
They’ve essentially taken their traditional 42,000-square-foot emergency room and cut it in half, leaving one side equipped as a traditional ER, and turning the other half into a “Senior ER.”
- KUSA TV – 9NEWS Senior Source Correspondent Mark Koebrich
Mom was sent to the ER every time she fell while living in a (five star) dementia care unit. They repeatedly allowed her to walk until she fell from exhaustion, even while wearing a helmet. She was afraid of the ambulance and ER – and would try to climb out of the bed before I could get there. Then, the ER doctors would FUSS at me, when the facility would send her to the ER. One doctor actually told me that the facility was wasting their time – sending the 'potentially' injured seniors to the ER. I hope something is done to help dementia victims with their fear. Very sad to see them scared while being treated by unsympathetic 'doctors'.
It's horrifying what is going on. I was repeatedly gaslighted by one cunning ER Nurse who just did not want to deal with an amazing senior who was like a rock star in her community because I was there every step of the way. Mom was still walking up to 1.1 miles with me by her side. Her bones went from osteoporosis to osteopenia. She was singing songs from her childhood, loved pets, kids and her beanie babies. Was such an inspiration to be around. But all it took was one ER Nurse to violate up to 15 laws to end Mom's life prematurely.
I took care of my Mother who had Dementia for 7 years. I kept her out of an overnight hospital for 3 and 3/4 years because I was her full time caregiver. Then a West Hills CA ER Nurse helped end her life, just because the ER Nurse could not be bothered to document Mom's decline due to pre pneumonia that happened while she was on her ER bed. I had to discover on my own that the ER Nurse probably broke as many as 15 laws. In California, they don't investigate because they need those premature deaths so they have more funding for the newly arriving. The irony is, my Mother was once an immigrant, when an Immigrant is young the Democrats will do anything for them, when the Immigrant is old, they seem to lose interest and don't enforce laws or investigations.
The same facility that helped end my Mother's life prematurely, the Hospital portion was terrific over the years. I stayed by my mother's bedside through a 3 year period of several close calls with death. I reoriented her and kept her calm during her tough time. Then we had 3 and 3/4 years of no overnight Hospital stays and our relationship got stronger. There was no straight line decline. The happier I could make her, the more she seemed to thrive even as some things declined, other things either maintained or improved.