Even a week-long stay in the hospital is bound to make us home sick. According to professionals from the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) elders who face hospitalization may encounter memory problems.
As part of the study, nearly 1,870 people aged above 65 were inspected. They were interviewed to gauge their thinking abilities and memory capacities for nearly 12 years. Among the subjects, approximately 71% of them were hospitalized at least once in the course of the trial.
Study author Robert S. Wilson, PhD, of Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, commented, “Our study is timely as the United States population continues to rapidly age and researchers try to identify factors that could reduce memory and thinking problems in the elderly. Understanding a possible link to something as common as hospital stays is extremely important.”
The results showed that memory declined for elders after the first case of admission in a hospital. In some tests, the rate of memory decline seemed to be more than 3 folds higher as compared to those not hospitalized even once. The outcomes were consistent across all factors such as age, duration of hospitalization and chronic illness.
The team asserted that avenues to inhibit medical conditions for the elderly are crucial as they may restrict hospital stays. The findings could introduce new alterations in discharge and inpatient policies of patients too.
The report is published in the March 21 issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.