It's a vicious circle. Those with dementia are often subject to delayed discharge from hospital after illness or an injury. Bed rest accelerates sarcopenia (muscle loss), which increases the likelihood of a further fall or injury after discharge, and the need for readmission. In addition, hospitals can be unfamiliar, distressing places for those with cognitive impairment, which can mean they leave hospital with their confidence and general sense of wellbeing at a low ebb.
- Stay times are on average 25% longer for people with dementia, and for some Trusts up to 85% longer
- Stay times are on average 25% longer, and for some Trusts up to 85% longer
- Five days of bed rest can result in around 16% loss of leg strength
- By 2025 over 1.1 million people will be living with dementia.
What we do
We provide support on hospital wards, particularly for those with a degree of dementia. For example, working in partnership with Move it or Lose it! These chair-based resistance exercise classes use music, balls and games to create fun, interactive sessions and can be run for groups or one to one.
For those with mild to moderate dementia, Cognitive Stimulation Therapy (CST) aims to stimulate cognition through structured sessions built around word association, current affairs and orientation games. It has been found to improve wellbeing and quality of life.
We can also help with:
- Discharge preparation and getting patients ready to go home including onward assessment of needs and preparation of the home for discharge. Where needed, we can help with provision of further support at home for up to eight weeks through our Home from Hospital service or signpost to others providing local support.
- Hydration/nutrition prompting, supporting and encouraging patients to eat and drink well.
How it makes a difference
We believe that for those in hospital, being in an age-friendly and dementia-friendly environment can significantly help to improve health and wellbeing, reduce length of stay and reduce the chance of readmission being necessary.
Resistance-based exercise has been found to be highly effective in reducing falls and hip fractures, which account for over 4 million hospital bed days per year. CST has been found to be effective in a number of randomised control trials. In those with mild to moderate dementia, it improved both cognitive function and wellbeing/quality of life.