Keeping patients with dementia safe

Dementia is common amongst people living with frailty.

Cognitive impairment has important implications for patient safety; numerous interventions at system, environment, team and patient level have been shown to mitigate this risk.

Common co-morbidities such as dementia contribute to frailty. About 800,000 people in the UK currently have dementia, and the number is expected to double in the next 30 years1.

A quarter of hospital beds are occupied by people with dementia1. A third of patients with dementia live on their own in the community2. Symptoms including confusion and forgetfulness contribute to the risk even in familiar environments.

In this section you will find resources to improve safety for patients with dementia as well as a discussion about redesigning services to maintain their independence.

Factsheets from the Alzheimer's Society

To support interventions that will reduce harm for patient with dementia, the Alzheimer's Society has produced a series of factsheets for healthcare professionals, carers and patients on providing a safe home environment. These cover a broad range of topics including driving, maintaining independence and assistive technology as well as practical advice from occupational therapists on equipment, adaptions and improvements to increase safety in the home.

Preventing admission

There is widespread interest in developing strategies to prevent admission to hospitals or care-homes for elderly patients but there is not always evidence as to where and how preventative interventions should be targeted. A discussion paper from the Institute of Public Care reviews the characteristics of those people unable to remain in the community and the existence of proven interventions to reduce the likelihood of these characteristics developing.

References

  1. Department of Health. Improving care for people with dementia. Accessed 15 April 2013
  2. Alzheimer's Society. Infographic: Dementia 2013: the hidden voice of loneliness. 2013. Accessed 15 April 2013

All resources on keeping patients with dementia safe