Dementia increases risk for hospital readmission by 20%

Share this article:
Chance of a senior developing Alzheimer's has dropped 44% over the last 30 years
Chance of a senior developing Alzheimer's has dropped 44% over the last 30 years

Seniors are more likely to be rehospitalized within 30 days of discharge if they have dementia, and the risk increases if they are taking an antipsychotic medication, according to recently published research. The study also found that discharge to a skilled nursing facility reduced hospital readmission risk when compared to discharge with home health services.

Investigators in Rhode Island analyzed about 26,000 hospitalizations that occurred during a one-year period. Medicare beneficiaries with a dementia diagnosis were nearly 20% more likely to be back in the hospital within a month than those without dementia, the researchers found.

Patients taking an antipsychotic medication in the six months before or after the initial hospital stay had a higher probability of readmission. 

The authors described this as a “notable” finding, and they surmised that antipsychotic use could indicate “undocumented factors” such as behavioral symptoms, which would explain heightened hospitalization risk. 

Their findings appeared shortly after the federal government announced that long-term care providers met a national goal of reducing antipsychotic prescribing for dementia care by 15%.

Findings from the Rhode Island study appear in the Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics.


Share this article:

More in News

Hospitals in the Midwest refer patients to the broadest networks of skilled nursing facilities, study finds

Hospitals in the Midwest refer patients to the ...

Midwestern hospitals spread referrals to the greatest variety of skilled nursing facilities and tap their favorite SNFs least often, according to a recently published analysis of nationwide referral patterns.

Bill would affect pay, scheduling for some nursing home housekeeping staff

Nursing homes could face more stringent scheduling requirements for housekeeping workers and might be on the hook to compensate them for last-minute shift changes under a bill proposed in both houses of Congress.

Joint Commission adds memory care accreditation

New memory care accreditation for nursing homes encourages staff to use a flexible, problem-solving approach to care for those with dementia, according to Joint Commission guidelines.