People with dementia who enter residential aged care after leaving hospital are less likely to be readmitted within 12 months

Shutterstock_2124320321
In a single year, 79,000 people aged 65 or older living with dementia were hospitalised for any reason, including their dementia. [Source: Shutterstock]

Australians living with dementia who move into residential aged care after a hospital stay are less likely to be readmitted to hospital within one year than those who return to living in the community, according to a new report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

Transitions to residential aged care after hospital for people living with dementia, explores how people living with dementia move between hospitals and residential aged care and their subsequent use of health services following the hospitalisation.

Around 4 in 10 (38%) people living with dementia who entered residential aged care after being hospitalised were readmitted to hospital within 12 months, a substantially lower rate than those who continued living in the community (6 in 10 or 62%).

They were also less likely to have an emergency department presentation (50%) compared with 63%.

“Dementia is a significant and growing health and aged care issue in Australia that has a substantial impact on the health and quality of life of people with the condition, as well as their family and friends,” said AIHW spokesperson Louise Gates.

“Having a better understanding of how people with dementia access health services and move between hospitals and residential aged care can contribute to improvements in the health and aged care systems and policies to better meet the needs of Australians living with dementia.”

In a single year, 79,000 people aged 65 or older living with dementia were hospitalised for any reason, including their dementia. Of these people, 62% (or 49,000 people) were living in the community prior to their hospitalisation while the remainder lived in residential aged care.

“1 in 4 (23%) of those people who lived in the community prior to their hospitalisation moved to residential aged care within one week of leaving hospital. This increased to 1 in 3 (33%) at 3-months and to 37% at 12-months after leaving hospital,” Ms Gates said.

The 2021 Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety recommended better integration between health and aged care systems to improve outcomes for older Australians and structural changes in data capture to allow the interaction between health and aged care systems to be monitored.

This report used data from the National Integrated Health Services Information (NIHSI), a linked data asset which brings together deidentified information on hospital care, deaths, residential aged care services, prescription medication and services under the Medical Benefits Schedule. Analysing linked data provides new insights into how people with dementia access health services and move between hospitals and residential aged care.

The study focuses on people’s first hospitalisation in 2017 and compares transitions to residential aged care or mortality in the 7-days, 3-months, and 12-months after discharge for people living with dementia and people without dementia.

This represents the most recent linked data available for the analysis that relies on multiple sources to identify people living with dementia and data which allow outcomes over 12-month to be examined.

Due to data availability at the time of study, changes in health and care aged care services following recent aged care reforms and the COVID-19 pandemic were not examined.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Why Are Rates of Malnutrition So High in Residential Aged Care Facilities?

Almost two-thirds of general and acute hospital beds are occupied by people over the age of 65 years. Studies in Australia have found that up to 8-30% of community-dwelling and home-bound elderly, and up to 40-70% of aged care home residents suffer from malnutrition. Malnutrition is associated with negative outcomes for the eldering including higher... Read More

Is it OK to mix vaccines for your booster shot – and when do you need one?

Booster shots will soon be available for Australians – but how long after a double dose do you need one? And is it safe to mix a booster shot if it’s not the same as your original vaccine? Read More

Share That You Care – Saying Thanks to Our Nurses

Nurses are “forgotten heroes” in society. They work incredibly hard and tirelessly round the clock to care for others, often on little sleep and food and receiving little thanks. New research by The Whiddon Group has shown that Australians are overlooking the important role nurses play. The study revealed that less than one in three... Read More
Advertisement