If a person with dementia is going into hospital for planned treatment or an operation, these tips may help to prepare them.
Read any information that you have been given by the hospital
Consider completing a Care Passport which provides information about the person to help hospital staff support them – you could use ‘This is Me’, produced by Alzheimer’s Society, or ‘Reach Out to Me’, produced by the Butterfly Scheme
Ask if the hospital has a dementia specialist Admiral Nurse who can support you and the person with dementia during their stay, or call our Helpline to find out: see Sources of support, below
Involve the person in packing their hospital bag. Include things that will give comfort and pass the time, like a smartphone or tablet, books, magazines, a personal radio, puzzles, family photos, and a favourite blanket or pillow
Make a list of their property and label everything with their name
Remember to pack glasses, hearing aids and dentures
Sometimes, a person with dementia may be admitted to hospital in an emergency. It may be useful to keep a list of things to pack in their hospital bag (described above) in case this happens.
On admission, talk to the hospital staff to ensure they know that the person has dementia, and let them know if they have any communication needs.
If someone is nearing the end of their life in hospital, they will usually be supported by the Palliative Care Team.
This is a specialist team that aims to make sure that patients are as comfortable as possible and receive care tailored to their needs and preferences.
They may support the person with dementia in hospital, arrange transfer to a hospice, community hospital or care home, or discharge them home where they will continue to offer support, including pain and distress management.
To speak to a dementia specialist Admiral Nurse about a stay in hospital or any other aspect of dementia, please call our free Helpline on 0800 888 6678 (Monday-Friday 9am-9pm, Saturday and Sunday 9am-5pm, every day except 25th December) or email email@example.com.