CE: Acute Care for Patients with Dementia

Am J Nurs. 2020 Apr;120(4):34-42. doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000660024.45260.1a.


Among adults ages 65 and older, dementia doubles the risk of hospitalization. Roughly one in four hospitalized patients has dementia, and the prevalence of dementia in the United States is rising rapidly. Patients with dementia have significantly higher rates of hospital-acquired complications, including urinary tract infections, pressure injuries, pneumonia, and delirium, which when unrecognized and untreated can accelerate physical and cognitive decline, precipitating nursing home placement and death. The authors discuss the unique needs of patients with dementia who require acute care, highlighting evidence-based strategies for nurses to incorporate into practice.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Communication
  • Delirium / diagnosis
  • Delirium / drug therapy
  • Dementia / nursing*
  • Female
  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Nursing Homes
  • Patient-Centered Care*
  • Pneumonia / diagnosis
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*
  • Urinary Tract Infections / complications