A nurse explains how to support someone in hospital with dementia

What to expect when someone with dementia goes into hospital

“Some things commonly happen to people with any cognitive impairment when they come into hospital and one of those is that they’re very likely to get more confused. That can be because they get something called delirium which is acute, short-term confusion. People with dementia are very likely to get that when they’re physically ill,” explained Jo.

“Home is very familiar, and they have familiar people helping them – it’s usually a very secure environment for a person, mentally. When they come into hospital they can find it very disorientating and it’s hard to hold on to the things that would help them normally. For example, if you’re a bit wobbly on your feet you might use familiar pieces of furniture to get to the toilet but in hospital you don’t have that.

“Families can come in and it seems like their loved one with dementia is ten times worse, it’s really horrible,” Jo added.

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