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Seniors with dementia who visit ER fare worse than those without dementia

November 16, 2015
by Nicole Stempak, Associate Editor
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Older adults with dementia are more likely visit the emergency department (ED), be admitted to the hospital and have a higher mortality rate following their visit than those without dementia, according to a new study in “Alzheimer Disease & Associated Disorders.”

Researchers from the Regenstrief Institute and the Indiana University Center for Aging Research analyzed patterns of healthcare use and mortality rates of elders with cognitive impairment who visit the emergency department.

“As people live longer, we will increasingly be faced with a growing number of individuals with cognitive impairment,” says Michael LaMantia, MD, MPH, IU Center for Aging Research and Regenstrief Institute Investigator, in a prepared statement. “We now know that survival rates after an ED visit differ significantly by cognitive status. We need to continue to learn how to provide better care to these vulnerable individuals in fast-paced emergency departments and after their visits to the ED.”

LaMantia and his colleagues studied more than 175,000 emergency department visits made by more than 25,000 people age 65 and older with and without dementia who sought emergency care over an 11-year period at Eskenazi Health. Between one-third and half of people with dementia made an emergency department visit in any given year.

Click to read the statement and the study.

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