Raising Dementia Awareness in Hospitals

Raising Dementia Awareness in Hospitals

Background

One crucial area of dementia services is care for dementia patients in hospital settings. Hospitalization can have devastating, life-changing consequences for a person living with dementia. Hospital stays often have negative effects on the cognitive and physical functional ability of the person, generally unrelated to the reason for admittance. Hospital patients with dementia exhibit signs of confusion and delirium. For many patients, their inability to communicate coherently and the staff's inability to recognize this, results in their not receiving the attention, support and care they require.

Need

There is a need in Israel's general and geriatric hospitals to optimize care for people living with dementia and their families and to tailor all diagnostic and therapeutic procedures to the dementia patients' needs. All staff need to be aware of dementia and receive dementia-training specific for their role. The hospital environment needs to be adapted to be dementia sensitive to patients and their families. There also needs to be a clear, personalized dementia care pathway from admission to discharge. Finally, best practices need to be identified and promoted on a national level for dementia services in hospitals.

Program

This program supports hospitals in developing unique projects to optimize care for people with dementia. Projects will include staff training to provide knowledge and tools specific for dementia care and the development of services to support patients living with dementia and their families. The national program criteria, along with each hospital's particular needs and resources, will help develop the details of each project. With regards to patient-centered care, hospitals will identify individuals living with dementia at the time of admission and adopt a therapeutic approach that respects the needs of the patient. The approach will also include measures to prevent complications associated with dementia. The staff, patient, caregivers, and community services will then develop and implement a discharge plan together. A multi-disciplinary staff will implement each project to provide the best possible care.  

Outcomes

  • Improve hospital staffs' awareness, knowledge, and tools for caring for patients living with dementia
  • Improve identification of patients with dementia upon admission
  • Expand availability of expert consultation
  • Develop dementia specific treatment plans and therapeutic approaches
  • Improve the satisfaction of family members
  • Implement a discharge process with continuity of care between hospitals and communities/institutions
  • Optimal hospitalization outcomes (duration of hospitalization, rate of hospitalizations, nutritional status, etc.)
  • Develop models of best practice

Contract dates

2016 - 2018

Partners

Ministry of Health