It looks like the less time a person with Alzheimer’s disease spends in the hospital, the better, according to a new study by Harvard University.
The study found that being hospitalized begins a downward trend for many who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, speeding their moves into nursing homes, and even their deaths, according to a report by Reuters Tuesday.
The research determined that roughly one in eight Alzheimer’s sufferers has what Reuters called “a major complication” within a year after being released from the hospital. Those “complications” include stroke and brain injury, according to Reuters.
Apparently, it’s the combination of hospitalization and the delirium that some people with Alzheimer’s have that complicates their hospital stays, the lead author of the study, Dr. Tamara Fong, told Reuters.
Fong, who is with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, used data about patients from the Massachusetts Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center from 1991 to 2006 as well as federal data for the study.
As it turned out, 367 of the 771 participants were hospitalized, with 194 of them also having dementia, according to Reuters. Roughly 43 percent within a year wound up in a nursing home, while 15 percent died, whether or not they ever went to a nursing home, Reuters reported.
The belief is that changing the routine and surroundings of a person with Alzheimer’s leads to a swift decline.