Admission, Discharge and Follow-up Support of Dementia Care Units

Anne Marie Bishop

Purpose: Standardized discharge criteria are recommended for dementia care units (DCUs); however, there is no consensus about what criteria should be used. This project seeks to describe the components of discharge criteria and supportive discharge practices used in a sample of DCUs.

Methods: Data were acquired through a survey sent to 30 DCUs. Data were analyzed using content analysis.

Findings: A 77% response rate was obtained. The four most common discharge criteria cited and recommended were the resident’s ability to manage in a long-term care environment, lack of socially inappropriate behaviors, dependency in activities of daily living, and an inability to participate in dementia care activities. Respondents recommended “consultation with staff” to facilitate discharge from DCUs.

Conclusion: Findings suggest that discharge from DCUs is ad hoc. The study lays the groundwork for future research to evaluate how discharge criteria and procedures are used in practice and to determine their appropriateness.

Accepted for publication:

Bishop, A.M., & Mortenson, W.B. (2015). Discharge criteria and follow-up support for dementia care units. pii: 0733464815577140 [Epub ahead of print] Journal of Applied Gerontology, JAG-14-0070.

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