(Reuters Health) – Dementia patients can go to the emergency room more often when their carers are being abused, from a recent study.
Researchers looked at 663 dementia patients and their family carers – usually spouses, home partners or other relatives – for six months. At the beginning of the study, 84 carers had depression, or nearly 13%.
Caregiver depression was associated with a 73% increase in the use of the emergency room among dementia patients, researchers report in JAMA Neurology.
Based on six months of observation, the researchers considered that a carer with dementia patients with depression was on the road to visit the emergency room 1.5 times a year, compared to 0.8 annual visits to patients with low care.
In full terms, carer depression was associated with an additional 0.7 emergency room visits per dementia patient per year.
“Depression and feelings of high care of carers are extremely common among those caring for family members with dementia,” said Dr. Elan Guterman, principal author of the study and neuroscience researcher at the University of California, San Francisco
“We know that this affects the quality of life of these carers and now we have evidence that this could also affect the use of the emergency department for patients with dementia, thus increasing the overall cost of the patient. care, ”Guterman said via email.
The people who cared for them in the 64-year-old study were on average and the majority were women. There were 77 year old dementia patients on average and just over half of women.
Depression was more common among young carers, and was also more common when younger dementia patients or a more severe disease.
Going to the emergency room was not good for the mental health of carers.
All additional visits to the emergency room involved 1.26 hours of carer depression after six months.
The study was not designed to prove whether a carer's depression adds further emergency visits to dementia patients.
It also focused on carers and dementia patients at academic medical centers in three states, and the results may differ in other care settings or parts of the country.
However, the findings provide fresh evidence that dementia care should include support for family carers, said Charles Given, professor emeritus at the state college of Michigan State University in East Lansing.
“Family members are facing a physical and cognitive decline in one of their own, they are not prepared to identify changes that are significant health threats and so are too over-cautious by looking for care when it is not needed,” 'Who participated in the study, said the email.
“Family carers need to have access to their patients' ongoing primary care when they can describe the problem and advise them on what to do, what symptoms they will look at and b & # 39 may be carried out at home, ”added. “The healthcare system needs to be alert to signs of depression in carers and help them get the support and counseling they need.” T
SOURCE: bit.ly/2XRs7rf JAMA Neurology, online July 8, 2019.
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