Service organisation for people with dementia after an injurious fall: challenges and opportunities

Alison Wheatley, Claire Bamford, Caroline Shaw, Miriam Boyles, Chris Fox, Louise Allan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Introduction
People with dementia are more likely to fall and less likely to recover well after a fall than cognitively intact older people. Little is known about how best to deliver services to this patient group. This paper explored current service provision to help inform the development of a new intervention.

Methods
Qualitative approaches were used to explore the views and experiences of people with dementia, family carers and professionals providing services to people with dementia following an injurious fall. These data were analysed using a thematic, iterative analysis.

Findings
While a wide range of services potentially relevant to people with dementia was identified, there were no dedicated services for people with dementia with fall related injuries in our three geographical areas. Factors influencing service uptake included a lack of knowledge of local provision amongst professionals and underdeveloped information sharing systems. Some aspects of current service organization were incompatible with the needs of people with dementia. These include an emphasis on time-limited interventions; lack of longer-term follow-up; and service delivery in environments that could be challenging for people with dementia.

Conclusions
Care pathways for people with dementia who fall are fragmented and unclear. This is likely to preclude people with dementia from receiving all appropriate support and contribute to poor recovery following a fall. The findings highlight the need for new approaches to service organisation and delivery which address the specific needs of people with dementia who fall.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)454–458
JournalAge and Ageing
Volume48
Issue number3
Early online date28 Mar 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2019

Keywords

  • dementia
  • falls
  • care pathways

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