Alzheimer's patients and hospitals


Registered User
Mar 31, 2004
Hi everyone

I don't know if this is a common problem, but I suspect it is. My Mum had a bad fall last week, which resulted in her being taken to A&E. After being there for several hours, during which she was in severe pain, she was sent home in an ambulance so that the ambulance men could carry her upstairs to her room. Although she did not have any fractures, she was completely unable to walk without the support of two people, and trying to do so caused her great pain. After a week of visits from the District Nurse and Hospital at Home carers she was in the same position. I contacted her Social Worker who arranged emergency respite care, at considerable cost to the Social Services budget, plus top-up fees for us. She is now in a care home where she can get the 24 hour care she needs, and is beginning to get about a little better. My feeling is that in her situation, she should have been admitted, but it was obvious that the hospital was determined not to do so. My assumption is that had she not had dementia she probably would have been admitted, and that hospitals are afraid that the relatives will dump their relatives once admitted. Or am I being too cynical?


Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
near London
Sorry to hear about your Mum and hope she recovers soon from the effects of her fall.

It was good that you were able to arrange respite care, but that is what Social Services budgets are there for, so I wouldn't worry about their being used for that, or the cost - apart from the cost of your top up.

I imagine the primary challenge for the hospital would have been the ability to care for someone admitted via A&E who also has dementia. They are not geared up to the very particular care needs of dementia patients, and, while it can hard to detect that some dementia patients are anything more than confused at strange surroundings, after a fall - others wander, become disturbed, cause concern for other patients, etc.

Quite often I should think that such a visit to hospital is the first time that the extent of the dementia will be recognised outside the family. We do tend to cover for our relatives, and over time we become used to a level of abnormality, such that it becomes normal.

There is of course your other point - the possibility of their beds becoming blocked. They do try and avoid that, and there is often not another place they can move patients to once the physical problems have been attended to.

So, all in all, you are probably correct that it is the dementia that stopped them admitting her.


Registered User
Mar 13, 2004
dementia wards

My mum has been in hospital 3 times in the last 9 weeks. Each time she was thrown out far too early and constantly readmitted in ambulances. The nurses in the hospital were horrible to her, ignoring her most of the time. I even went in and she was trying to get a drink out of a jug of water because they hadn't given her a glass. She was a nuisance to them it was plain to see.
She was then admitted to a different hospital and it was another story, the nurses were lovely to her and she recovered quickly. I thanked the nurses prefusely for their kindness and the one whom was kindest of all to mum said her mum had dementia too. These are the only people whom really understand. Nurses should be trained in dementia or perhaps they could have special wards for dementia and AD sufferers.