A study that was conducted by New York University found that dementia patients fared much better after a hospitalization when the care staff that was helping them remained consistent.
This study focused on seniors with dementia that had recently been discharged from the hospital and were receiving home health care. When the caregiver remained consistent throughout the course of their care, the patients were much less likely to be readmitted back into the hospital.
To ensure that this was happening, the research team had the nurses that were treating patients in the hospital deliver in-home health care to their patients after their release. They found that this bit of familiarity had a positive payout for the patients. Only 24 percent of patients that received continuity with their nurses were rehospitalized. Those that didn’t have continuous care were 33 percent more likely to end up back in the hospital.
The team published their findings in the journal, Medical Care, which is sponsored by the American Public Health Association. This finding is yet another strong piece of evidence that supports how important home care can be to our elderly loved ones.
Anecdotal evidence has supported this for a really long time. It’s something that we have seen on many occasions here, too. When elderly individuals with dementia are around people that they’ve known for years, in a familiar place, their cognitive decline tends to progress more slowly than when someone is placed in a nursing home or assisted living facility with new care staff.
This is all in fitting with the shifts that the pandemic has caused when people think about finding care for an older loved one. Care in the home is much more popular than ever before.
Sometimes relocating an individual with dementia is necessary. Sometimes, the stressors of their home are too much and relocation is the safest, healthiest choice. It’s not a great (or easy) choice, but when it comes to maintaining physical health, relocating is sometimes the best option.
But not always. When continuity of care is possible, either through maintaining the same caregiver for an extended period of time or by staying in the familiarity of your own home, it should be pursued.
This will look different for different people, but regardless of what your family’s needs might be, there are resources out there that can help you. We are one of those resources. Our professional caregivers are trained in the ins and outs of memory care and the special nuances that need to be considered when it comes to working with someone who is dealing with Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia. Senior care is a broad field, and memory care is a specialized sub-type of care. Having the right team on your side is important.
The importance of continuous care cannot be understated. Keeping your loved one in their own home can help make this really easy. If this is something that you’d like to learn more about, please give us a call. One of our trained professionals would love to speak with you further about how in-home care might be able to help your family live a higher quality of life and not have to worry about relocation–even if dementia is involved.