Hospitalization can cause short-term memory loss in seniors

Share this article:
The mental disruption that comes with being hospitalized can cause temporary memory loss for up to a month for seniors who are sick, according to new research.

This is imperative for caregivers to realize, said investigators at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine. Hospital-induced memory loss could affect how they remember discharge instructions and other critical information, they note.

The researchers studied 200 seniors over the age of 70 who had not been diagnosed with dementia or cognition problems prior to being admitted to the hospital and participating in the study. Upon their date of discharge, investigators administered cognition tests to evaluate the patients' mental status. One-third of participants displayed scores that “were not previously recognized” and on the lower end. One month later scores had improved.

“When the senior is no longer sick enough to be in the hospital, it doesn't mean they're 100 percent ready to be on their own,” said researcher Lee Lindquist, M.D. “It's a critical time and they need extra support and understanding from healthcare professionals and family.”

The study was published online in the Journal of Internal Medicine.
Share this article:

More in News

CMS expands therapy payment research

The government is expanding its research into alternative therapy payments, to consider more holistic changes to the way Medicare reimburses skilled nursing facilities, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced Tuesday.

CDC tightens Ebola guidelines for healthcare workers

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued more stringent guidelines for how healthcare workers should interact with Ebola patients, following an outcry from nurses and other professionals.

Nonprofit providers face alarming market forces, must rally, LeadingAge chairman says

Nonprofit providers face alarming market forces, must rally, ...

Nonprofit long-term care providers must work together to address alarming trends, or their market share could plummet and the sector as a whole could falter, LeadingAge Chairman David Gehm told ...