A HOSPITAL STAY CAN CAUSE TEMPORARY MEMORY LOSS IN SENIORS
A hospital stay can be a stressful time for anyone. Hospital procedures, antibiotics, different food, bed and daily routine can become overwhelming and disorienting to all patients.
However, according to a Northwestern University study, which was funded by the National Institute of Aging, and entitled "Improvements in Cognition Following Hospital Discharge of Community Dwelling Seniors," the stress is felt most severely by the elderly.
The study analyzed 200 people ages 70 and older who had been hospitalized for one reason or another and found that about 1/3 of them were suffering from cognitive issues, although none of them had been previously diagnosed with any such difficulties.
This disorientation came at a particularly critical time as the patients were leaving the hospital and being given daily care instructions that needed to be followed once they got home. If an individual did not understand his instructions, than a delay in recovery or worse could be the end result.
Researchers sensibly recommended that patients be accompanied by a family member or friend upon discharge. Once the patients were back home and in familiar surroundings, the majority of them returned to normal cognitive function within one month.
The study noted "they had significant improvement in areas of orientation, registration, repetition, comprehension, naming, reading, writing and calculation."
Helping Hands courtesy of Rosie O'Beirne's photostream via Flickr.com Creative Commons License
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