Hospitals regularly assist older patients ranging from preventative care to emergency medical treatment. Unfortunately, not all hospitals are equipped to treat an adult experiencing cognitive change adequately.  The Alzheimer’s Association reports that hospital stays are twice as likely for a person with dementia compared to other older adults.  Hospitals around the world are committed to improving healthcare for patients with dementia by offering specialized staff dementia training and adopting environmental changes

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Medical emergencies can be a jarring experience for any person, particularly for someone with a neurological condition. The chaotic environment, unfamiliarity with care staff, and medical complications may all contribute to hospital delirium.  Family members or care partners can help orient the patient to their surroundings, offer emotional support, and inform staff of memory cues and relevant personal information of the patient to foster a more positive experience.

Hospitals are encouraged to focus on person-centered care to improve the quality of services offered to patients with dementia, recognizing the individual rather than the diagnosis.  Hospital staff, including recreation, dietary, and administrative personnel, can benefit from training that promotes valuing and respecting patients with dementia and offers practical skills like communication techniques.  To further the concept of person-centered treatment, some hospitals have introduced dementia-friendly systems that minimize environmental disturbances to provide a comfortable space in which to stay.

Dementia Friendly America Hospital Resources

DF America Sector Guide- Hospitals

ACT on Alzheimer’s- Dementia Friendly Hospitals

Alzheimer’s Association- Hospitalization and Discharge Planning

Alzheimer’s Association, St. Louis Chapter- Dementia Friendly Hospital Initiative

Alzheimer’s Association, St. Louis Chapter- Dementia Friendly Hospitals Presentation

Components of Impactful Dementia Training for General Hospital Staff Article

Dementia Action, UK- Dementia Friendly Hospitals

The Dementia Centre, UK- Virtual Hospital

The Dementia Friendly Hospital Initiative Education Program for Acute Care Nurses and Staff

Dementia-Friendly Interventions to Improve the Care of People Living with Dementia Admitted to Hospitals Article

Dementia Services Development Centre, Wales- Dementia-friendly Ward Environments Presentation

Dementia Spotlight Foundation- Alzheimer’s, Dementia Hospital Wristband Program

Health Research Board, Ireland- Dementia Friendly Hospitals From a Universal Design Approach

Harvard Medical School- Hospital Delirium

Impact of a person-Centered Dementia Care Training Programme on Hospital Staff Attitudes, Role Efficacy and Perceptions of Caring for People with Dementia Article

Johns Hopkins Medicine- Journey of Dementia

Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association- Guidance for Developing an Operational Plan to Address Diagnosis and Care for Patients with Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Dementias in Hospital Settings

Massachusetts Department of Public Health- Recommendations from the Alzheimer’s and Related Dementias Acute Care Advisory Committee

National Institute on Aging- Going to the Hospital

NICHE Training

The Outer Banks Hospital- Dementia Friendly Hospital

UNC School of Medicine- Dementia Friendly Hospitals Initiative

What Works in Delivering Dementia Education or Training to Hospital Staff? Article