For Alzheimer’s Patients, Hospitalization Could Do More Harm Than Good

Posted on Jul 12, 2012

According to an article in The Hour, people with Alzheimer’s or dementia are more likely to need hospital care, often due to ordinarily preventable causes like infections that have gone unnoticed. However, staying in a hospital can be catastrophic for their mental state leading to a much faster progression of the disease. 

In one case,New Yorkpsychiatrist Leslie Fuchs took her mother, who suffered from slowly worsening Alzheimer’s disease, to a local hospital. The elderly woman became increasingly difficult to handle; she even attempted to sneak into other patients’ rooms. Eventually, doctors prescribed her anti-psychotic drugs. Fuchs persisted that her mother be released from the hospital. At home, her mother became calmer and had no need of the drugs. 

In a study by the University of Washington, 771 Alzheimer’s patients were observed while at home and when they had to be taken to the hospital. While at home, the patients seemed to be fairly high-functioning. About half of them required a hospital visit. A large percentage of that half suffered from delirium and other negative effects during their stay. Of those patients, 29% ended up in a nursing home and 9% died. 

With over 5 million Americans suffering from Alzheimer’s and similar mental diseases, it is important for loved ones to do all they can to avoid hospital visits requiring the patient’s eventual admittance into a nursing home. Many of these facilities are more likely to sedate Alzheimer’s patients rather than hire the help necessary to maintain a higher level of care. 

Nursing home abuse and neglect is a real problem in every state. If you or a loved one has been injured in the care of nursing facility, you may be able to gain compensation for your pain and suffering. Contact an attorney at the Law Offices of Gray & White for a free consultation. Call us today at 1-888-436-0859.

Matthew L. White
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Founder & Partner of Louisville Personal Injury Law Firm Gray & White Law