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Hospitals urged to adapt to dementia as a comorbidity

More than 80% of people with dementia have complex conditions

Hospitals must transform to meet the needs of an ageing population, delegates at the International Dementia Conference in Birmingham heard.

Sube Banerjee, a dementia expert from the University of Sussex said many patients with a variety of conditions will also have dementia.

Professor Banerjee told the conference: Only 17% of people with dementia only have dementia, so complexity is the rule, not the exception.

Twentieth century hospitals were built for people with one problem, whereas twenty-first century hospitals will need to care for people with complexities.

We are quite good at dealing with comorbidity of conditions such as heart disease and arthritis, but what makes things fall to pieces is when people have dementia in the mix.

We know it leads to longer length of stay, re-admissions and poorer outcomes.

Hospitals must transform to meet the needs of an ageing population, delegates at the International Dementia Conference in Birmingham heard.

Sube Banerjee, a dementia expert from the University of Sussex said many patients with a variety of conditions will also have dementia. 

Professor Banerjee told the conference: ‘Only 17% of people with dementia only have dementia, so complexity is the rule, not the exception. 

‘Twentieth century hospitals were built for people with one problem, whereas twenty-first century hospitals will need to care for people with complexities.

‘We are quite good at dealing with comorbidity of conditions such as heart disease and arthritis, but what makes things fall to pieces is when people have dementia in the mix. 

‘We know it leads to longer length of stay, re-admissions and poorer outcomes.’

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