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New mode of dementia care improves health, lowers hospitalization rates
Date:2/10/2011

INDIANAPOLIS An innovative model of dementia care developed by researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine and the Regenstrief Institute significantly reduces emergency department visits and hospitalizations, and encourages use of medications that are not harmful to older brains. The result is improved health for older adults and their family caregivers and lower healthcare costs, according to a paper evaluating the model in real world use.

The paper appears in Volume 15, Issue 1, 2011 of the peer-reviewed journal Aging & Mental Health.

"We successfully translated the memory care model we developed into actual practice, taking it from promising research to a clinical trial, which we published in JAMA [Journal of American Medical Association] in 2006, and now to actual practice with the Healthy Aging Brain Center at Wishard Health Services, serving patients from metropolitan Indianapolis, throughout the Midwest and from as far away as Texas and California," said paper first author Malaz Boustani, M.D., M.P.H., an associate professor of medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine, a Regenstrief Institute investigator and an Indiana University Center for Aging Research scientist.

Within a year of an initial HABC visit, only 28 percent of patients had visited a hospital emergency department compared to 50 percent of similar patients not seen at the HABC. For those who were hospitalized, HABC patients had an average inpatient stay of five days in contrast to the average inpatient stay of seven days for non-HABC patients.

"These numbers show without a doubt that improved dementia care benefits patients, their family caregivers and the entire healthcare system. Our patients get prescription and over-the counter medications that don't harm the aging brain. They don't need emergency treatment as often, and if they are hospitalized, they spend significantly less time there than those who d
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Contact: Cindy Fox Aisen
caisen@iupui.edu
317-274-7722
Indiana University School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert  

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