Preventing Avoidable Hospital Admissions

Preventing Avoidable Hospital Admissions for People with Dementia

Evidence from the literature and anecdotal sources has identified that people living with dementia are hospitalised at twice the rate of people the same age who do not have dementia. The hospital environment can be very distressing for people with dementia and their carers. It can also lead to adverse outcomes and complications. Although some hospital admissions are clinically necessary, others could potentially be avoided if support was available to people with dementia and their carers to make decisions about healthcare.

This project aims to identify the primary reasons that people with dementia present to hospital emergency departments and draw on the experiences and needs of carers and clinical staff to develop resources for carers. The resources would provide carers with support in making decisions about health care needs, reducing the reliance on hospital emergency departments.

A project advisory group has been established with a diverse range of MARC partners to oversee the project design and delivery.


Research participants wanted!

Do you want to avoid bringing a person with dementia to the hospital Emergency Department?

The Melbourne Ageing Research Collaboration (MARC), led by the National Ageing Research Institute, is a partnership of 11 organisations that aim to improve the health and wellbeing of older people.  MARC is conducting a research study to develop resources for carers of people living with dementia to reduce avoidable presentations to the Emergency Department.

People with dementia are twice as likely to be hospitalised as people the same age who do not have dementia. Hospital can be very distressing for a person with dementia and their carer and can sometimes lead to negative consequences.  Although some hospital attendances are necessary, others could be avoided if support was available to people with dementia and their carers to make decisions about healthcare.

This study aims to understand the main reasons that people with dementia go to the Emergency Department, identify how many of these could have been avoided, and develop resources to support people with dementia and their carers in making healthcare decisions.

To participate in the study, you will need to be:

  • 18 years and over
  • Able to read and write in English
  • Caring for a person with dementia  who lives in the community (own home or retirement village)
  • Been to a hospital Emergency Department with the person you care for in the past three months
  • Or a GP working in the Melbourne metropolitan area
  • Or a clinical staff member working in a hospital.

Participation will involve a survey about your recent hospital experience and involvement in a focus group to give feedback about resources developed for carers.

For more information, contact Anita Panayiotou (03) 8387 2662 a.panayiotou@nari.unimelb.edu.au

Participants wanted for survey


Project status September 2017

In September 2017, MARC has completed data collection at Melbourne Health, and has started at Austin Health and Northern Health. A systematic review has been finalised and registered on PROSPERO.  This review looks at the effect of interventions that prevent avoidable hospital presentations for those living in the community with dementia has begun.

Project status: September 2017