Do current discharge arrangements from inpatient hospital care for the elderly reduce readmission rates, the length of inpatient stay or mortality, or improve health status?

    Publication year: 2005

    In the developed world, older people make up an increasing proportion of the population, and this demographic transition also affects some developing countries. In general, older people are at increased risk of disease, disability and financial and social deprivation compared to younger people in the same populations. For many older people, admission to an acute hospital is associated with a decline in physical functioning, which is not always recovered at the time of discharge, or even soon. Iatrogenic deterioration is not uncommon and, with extended stays, both informal and formal patterns of support at home may be disrupted and make a return to independent living extremely difficult. Thus, hospital discharge arrangements are a key issue in ensuring the safe and effective transfer of older people between inpatient hospital care, and community-based home care.