A trip to the hospital can be stressful for anyone but can be especially difficult for patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s. They can become easily anxious and confused in new surroundings and any subtle change in their routine can cause delirium, which is a state of confusion that can develop following illness, infection, or surgery. Delirium is one of the most common complications in hospitalized patients over age 65.
People with dementia who are hospitalized are less likely to receive adequate pain relief, and potentially more likely to receive a higher dose of medication – which comes with its own risk of complications and side effects. They can also need more care from family members while they’re hospitalized.