Two-year study finds third of dementia patients admitted to hospital after fall

Thousands of dementia patients are being taken to hospital because of a fall, a new study has found.

Researchers tracked 8,000 people living with dementia for more than two years and found that 31% suffered a fall which led to them being admitted to hospital.

Meanwhile 18% suffered from a fracture, according to the study published in JAMDA – the journal of the Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine.

Experts from King’s College London and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust called for more to be done to prevent falls in people’s homes – such as handrails and raised toilet seats.

They said that suffering a fall can reduce a person’s confidence in looking after themselves as well as lead to a costly hospital bill.

Women with dementia, those with physical health problems and people who live alone in deprived neighbourhoods were more likely to suffer a fall leading to being admitted to hospital, according to the study, funded by the National Institute for Health Research.

The finding comes as separate research provides insight into the factors that can improve a dementia patient’s quality of life.

It was led by experts from the University of Exeter and entailed a review of 198 studies concerning more than 37,000 people.

Factors linked with better quality of life among dementia patients include having good relationships with family and friends; being included and involved in social activities; and being able to manage everyday activities, according to the research published in the journal Psychological Medicine.

Meanwhile, people living with dementia who have a poorer quality of life are more likely to have worse physical and mental health.

Professor Linda Clare, of the University of Exeter, said: “[It is] vital that we understand how we can optimise quality of life for the 50 million people worldwide who have dementia.

“We now need to develop ways to put these findings into action to make a difference to people’s lives.”

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2018, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Jonathan Brady / PA Wire.