I read with sadness and great concern the hospital experience of a 91-year-old Great Grandmother with dementia (Herald Sun 27/10, ‘Gran, 91, in hospital bed crisis’).
A woman who gave 50 years of service to a Melbourne Hospital had to wait almost 21 hours on an emergency department trolley waiting for a bed.
In Australian hospitals up to 50 percent of all patients admitted have some degree of cognitive impairment.
Acute care remains a dangerous setting for people with dementia.
There is an urgent need for people with cognitive impairment to receive better support, and to feel secure in a strange environment.
Improved in-hospital practice through recognition of cognitive impairment at admission and more access to specialist dementia programs and support is needed.
As President of Alzheimer's Australia Vic I am very disturbed by this report.
It is high time that Australians and especially Victorians stood up and demanded that Governments provide more appropriate care to people with dementia who are admitted to hospital.
DAVID GALBALLY QC
President Alzheimer's Australia Vic
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