Hospitalisation 'causes memory loss in older adults'

Hospitalisation 'causes memory loss in older adults'

Hospitalisation in older people could lead to memory loss and difficulty comprehending instruction, research has shown, which could potentially put them in need of further respite care.

A study conducted at Northwestern University found that older people showed signs of memory loss and had difficulty understanding discharge instructions, with the effect lasting up to one month after the hospital stay.

The findings, published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, indicated that this is a time during which older adults will need extra support from family and healthcare professionals.

Lead author Lee Lindquist said: "If a patient is by herself the day of a hospital discharge, it's possible that she won't comprehend complicated medical instructions, increasing medication errors and chances of re-hospitalization."

In other news, brain inflammation has been found to play a part in the memory loss of otherwise healthy adults, according to research presented at the American Academy of Neurology annual meeting.

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