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Hospital Experiences

Rachael D

Registered User
Apr 25, 2005
I'm writing a piece for our newsletter Share on 'accelerated discharge' - what's being done to get people with dementia out of hospital and back into their own homes as quickly as possible.

I'm after people's experiences. I'd like to use examples of people with dementia who've had to go to hospital to be treated for something, have been well cared for there, and returned home without a deterioration in their condition. I'd like to know what enabled this to happen.
Also, I'd like to use an eg of someone who wasn't so fortunate and who ended up not returning home but going into long term care, as many people do.

Please get in touch if you're happy to talk to me. Ideally, I'd like to name people in the article, but if anyone wishes to remain anonymous then I will consider using their story without using names.

I hope to hear from you either by email or phone - 0207 306 0606
Best wishes,
Rachael Doeg

blue sea

Registered User
Aug 24, 2005
My experiences don't fit either of your categories but I'll mention them anyway as I feel so strongly that the hospital care for dementia patients that I have witnessed has been dreadful. Dad is already in an EMI nursing home but has had about 4 admissions to a general hospital this year, one lasting 10 days.

Casuality department does not have incontinence pads available.
Dad has been kept waiting as long as 4 hours in casualty even though he was hugely agitated and anxious.
On one admission he was in 4 different wards in 24 hours.
Unless I was with him I am sure he had no food or drink - this happened to the other patients I saw with dementia. Food was just put down in front of them and left - sandwiches unwrapped, no cutlery put in their hands or prompts given to eat. (Those who actually needed spoon feeding fared a little better.)
Wards were not properly secure - one man with alzheimers on dad's ward was found by the police 2 miles away in his pyjamas and with bare feet.
Dad was frequently left in dirty pyjamas / bedding as he needed changing so often and the staff did not have time.
When I was not there the staff could not cope with him wandering so he was a constant problem for other patients.
No staff seemed to have any basic training in how to relate to demenita patients, how to talk to them etc.

I could go on and on. It is not the staff's fault - the wards were understaffed. Patients with severe dementia who are very mobile really need a specalised secure ward with a higher level of staffing, with some staff trained in dealing with dementia patients. This costs a lot of money. Are they not worth it??? It doesn't surprise me that many patients need to go into long term care after a stay in hospital. The whole experience must be terrifying for them, increasing their confusion.

  • This is probably no help for your article but I feel better for writing it!!

    Blue sea